Research Support Teams

The Duke CHAVD Scientific Research Support Units (SRSUs) form a well-coordinated translational pathway led by outstanding investigators that excel at discovery, preclinical, manufacture, and clinical trials testing of HIV-1 vaccine candidates.

The six Scientific Research Support Units will provide multidisciplinary expertise to advance immunogen design and/or pre-clinical evaluation of candidate immunogens include Structural Biology, Computational Biology and Immunogen Design, Virus Biology and Sequencing, SHIV and Nonhuman Primates, ES Cell and Knock-in Mouse, and Clinical Trials Liason.

Structural Biology

The Structural Biology SRSU, is led by Dr. Priyamvada Acharya and provides support to the Duke CHAVD Consortium by elucidating cryo-EM and crystallographic structures of newly-isolated broadly neutralizing antibodies and non-neutralizing antibodies from HIV-1-infected, SHIV-infected, or from Env-vaccinated humans and macaques.

Computational Biology

The Computational Biology and Immunogen Design SRSU led by Drs. Bette Korber and Kevin Wiehe focuses on developing immunogen designs to elicit protective antibody responses, either neutralizing or non-neutralizing, that are effective against the diverse spectrum of currently circulating HIV-1 viruses.

Virus Biology and Sequencing

The Virus Biology and Sequencing SRSU, led by Dr. Beatrice Hahn, analyzes pathways of envelope antibody co-evolution in SHIV infected macaques and identifies staged immunogens to elicit neutralization breadth.

SHIV and Nonhuman Primate

The SHIV-NHP SRSU, led by Drs. George Shaw and Sampa Santra, uses the SHIV model to accelerate discovery of novel HIV-1 immunogens and vaccination regimens that elicit broad neutralizing antibodies.

ES Cell & Knock-in Mouse

The ES cell and Knock-in Mouse SRSU, led by Dr. Fred Alt, produces two types of mouse models for immunization experiments.  The first type of model expresses specific unmutated common ancestor (UCA) of broad neutralizing antibodies.  Positive candidates will be further evaluated in the second type of model, which expresses diverse repertoires of precursor antibodies.  Together, the two types of mouse models provide a step-by-step path for immunogen development. 

Clinical Trials Liason

The Clinical Trials Liaison SRSU, led by Dr. Tony Moody will provide the infrastructure, clinical trials and regulatory expertise, and repositories for assessment of immune responses to HIV vaccine candidates in human trials.