HMS Virology

Virology Faculty Member - Myron Essex

Myron Essex

Mary Woodard Lasker Professor of Health Sciences

Harvard School of Public Health
Imm. & Infectious Diseases, FXB, Rm.402
651 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 2115
Tel: 617-432-2334
Fax: 617-739-8348

Our Laboratory conducts research on human retroviruses, especially those HIV-1 subtypes and recombinants that are responsible for the major epidemics in Africa. The research is oriented to virus evolution, vaccine design, drug resistance, and molecular determinants of transmission efficiency. In addition to our Boston laboratory we maintain a research laboratory in Botswana.

The mechanisms of genomic variation through mutation, recombination, and host selection are studied for impact on HIV epidemic expansion rates. For understanding evolutionary immunoselection, variations in recognition of conserved cytolytic T cell epitopes is analyzed with the same information being utilized for design of an HIV-1C vaccine. The role of various envelope sequences as well as transcriptional activation are also analyzed with respect to tissue site replication to determine why some viruses appear to transmit more effectively by heterosexual contact and mother/infant transmission.

Last Update: 10/22/2013


Novitsky V, Cao H, Rybak N, Gilbert P, McLane MF, Gaolekwe S, Peter T, Thior I, Ndung'u T, Marlink R, Lee TH, Essex M. Magnitude and Frequency of CTL Responses: Identification of Immunodominant Regions in HIV-1 Subtype C. J. Virol. 76:10155-10168 (2002).

Novitsky V, Gilbert P, Peter T, McLane MF, Gaolekwe S, Rybak N, Thior I, Ndung'u T, Marlink R, Lee TH, Essex M. Association between Virus-Specific CTL Responses and Plasma Viral Load in HIV-1 Subtype C Infection. J. Virol. 77:882-890 (2003).

Montano MA, Russell MS, Gilbert PB, Thior I, Lockman S, Shapiro R, Chang SY, Lee TH, Essex M. Comparative Prediction of Perinatal HIV-1 Transmission Using Multiple Viral Load Markers. J. Infect. Dis. 188:406-413 (2003).

Renjifo B, Chung M, Msamanga G, Kagoma C, Mwakagile D, Fawzi W, Essex M. In Utero Transmission of Quasispecies among Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Genotypes. Virology 307:278-282 (2003).

Renjifo B, Gilbert P, Chaplin B, Msamanga G, Mwakagile D, Fawzi W, Essex M. Preferential In-Utero Transmission of HIV-1 Subtype C as Compared to HIV-1 Subtype A or D. AIDS 18:1629-36 (2004).

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