Immunology Faculty Member - Bruce Walker, MD

Bruce Walker, MD

Director, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
Professor of Medicine, Harvard University
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
400 Technology Square, Room 870

Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: 857-268-7072
Fax: 857-268-7142

Dr. Bruce Walker is the Director of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and a board-certified Infectious Disease specialist. The overarching goal of his laboratory is to define the interplay of immunologic, virologic and host genetic factors that determine control of human viral infections, to guide vaccine development and immunotherapeutic interventions. His research focuses in particular on HIV and HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses, and these studies are performed both at the Ragon Institute and at the Africa Health Research Institute, a state of the art Tb-HIV research facility he helped establish in Durban, South Africa and served as one of the founding co-directors. Important recent contributions include the demonstration of host dependency factors required for HIV replication (4), intrinsic resistance of HIV-infected macrophages to CTL mediated killing (5), application of network theory to define protective CTL epitopes in HIV infected persons (6), and longitudinal studies of persons with hyperacute HIV infection demonstrating interplay of host immune responses at the single cell level and the impact of immediate antiviral therapy on the functionality of virus-specific T cell responses. His studies are facilitated by extensive biobanks of samples from persons with acute and chronic HIV infection, as well as persons who are infected with HIV, but have never been treated and successfully control viremia by effective CD8 T cell responses. Dr. Walker is also an Adjunct Professor at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in Durban, South Africa, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the American Association of Physicians (AAP), and the National Academy of Medicine.

Last Update: 6/16/2020


For a complete listing of publications click here.



1. Day C.L., Kaufmann D.E., Kiepiela P., Brown JA., Moodley ES., Reddy S., Mackey EW., Miller J.D., Leslie A.J., DePierres C., Mncube Z., Duraiswamy J., Zhu B., Eichbaum Q., Altfeld M., Wherry E.J., Coovadia H.M., Goulder P.J., Klenerman P., Ahmed R., Freeman GJ., Walker B.D. PD-1 expression on HIV-specific T cells is associated with T-cell exhaustion and disease progression. Nature. 2006 Sep 21; 443(7109):350-4. PubMed PMID 16921384
2. Determinants of HIV-1 Control Affect HLA Class I Peptide Presentation; The International HIV Controller Study. Science 2010 Dec 10; 330(6010):1551-1557. PubMed PMID: 21051598
3. Ferguson AL, Mann JK, Omarjee S, Ndung'u T, Walker BD, Chakraborty AK. Translating HIV Sequences into Quantitative Fitness Landscapes Predicts Viral Vulnerabilities for Rational Immunogen Design. Immunity. 2013 Mar 21; 38(3):606-17. PubMed PMID: 23521886.
4. Park RJ, Wang T, Koundakjian D, Hultquist JF, Lamothe-Molina P, Monel B, Schumann K, Yu H, Krupzcak KM, Garcia-Beltran W, Piechocka-Trocha A, Krogan NJ, Marson A, Sabatini DM, Lander ES, Hacohen N, Walker BD. A genome-wide CRISPR screen identifies a restricted set of HIV host dependency factors. Nat Genet. 2017;49(2):193-203 PMCID: PMC5511375
Clayton, K. L., D. R. Collins, J. Lengieza, M. Ghebremichael, F. Dotiwala, J. Lieberman and B. D. Walker (2018). Resistance of HIV-infected macrophages to CD8(+) T lymphocyte-mediated killing drives activation of the immune system. Nat Immunol 2018; 19(5): 475-486. PMCID: PMC6025741
6. Gaiha, G. D., E. J. Rossin, J. Urbach, C. Landeros, D. R. Collins, C. Nwonu, I. Muzhingi, M. N. Anahtar, O. M. Waring, A. Piechocka Trocha, M. Waring, D. P. Worrall, M. S. Ghebremichael, R. M. Newman, K. A. Power, T. M. Allen, J. Chodosh and B. D. Walker. Structural topology defines protective CD8+ T cell epitopes in the HIV proteome.
Science 2019; 364(6439): 480-484.
7. Ndhlovu ZM, Kazer SW, Nkosi T, Ogunshola F, Muema DM, Anmole G, Swann SA, Moodley A, Dong K, Reddy T, Brockman MA, Shalek AK, Ndung'u T, Walker BD. Augmentation of HIV-specific T cell function by immediate treatment of hyperacute HIV-1 infection.
Sci Transl Med. 2019;11(493).
8. Kazer SW, Aicher TP, Muema DM, Carroll SL, Ordovas-Montanes J, Miao VN, Tu AA, Ziegler CGK, Nyquist SK, Wong EB, Ismail N, Dong M, Moodley A, Berger B, Love JC, Dong KL, Leslie A, Ndhlovu ZM, Ndung'u T, Walker BD, Shalek AK. Integrated single-cell analysis of multicellular immune dynamics during hyperacute HIV-1 infection. Nat Med. 2020;26(4):511-8.

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