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Study of HIV 1 latent reservoir
Belgium (BeMSA) - Université de Liège, Liège
Laboratory of cellular and molecular immunology Quartier Hôpital
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Combination antiretroviral therapy allows clinicians to manage HIV-1 infected patients successfully. However, this therapy is not curative. Indeed, if a patient stops the treatment, the virus will inevitably rebound. The primary cause of this viral rebound is the HIV-1 latent reservoir (viruses stably integrated into cells but not expressed and persisting in the body for a very long time). In this project, we propose to better characterize the HIV-1 reservoir in the blood and the tissues
What is the aim of the project?
Better characterize the HIV-1 reservoir in the blood and the rectal tissue.
What techniques and methods are used?
The first step will be to collect blood samples from patients at the academic hospital adjacent (CHU de Liège) to the research institute (GIGA). Secondly, the cells will be extracted from the blood sample using the FICOLL method. The purpose of this method is to separate the blood into different separate samples. Thus, we can collect Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC). Then the DNA will be extracted from the sample (PBMC) by cell lysis combined with the use of detergent to obtain a DNA extract. This DNA extract will then be analyzed in the laboratory via quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR). Finally, in collaboration with the genomics laboratory, a Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) will be performed to determine the complete DNA sequence. This is followed by an analysis of the results and a comparison of these results with previous studies.
What is the role of the student?
- If the project includes “lab work”
- the student will take active part in the practical aspect of the project
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will actively participate in lab work. He/She will first observe for several days what we are doing in the lab : Blood collection Isolation of PBMCs (peripheral blood mononuclear cell) DNA extraction Quantification of HIV-1 viral load Then the student will perform the experiments himself under the supervision of a lab member. He/She will also be involved in the analysis of the data collected. The student must be willing to read a certain number of scientific articles.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Yes, it will: -Preliminary readings. -Preliminary courses. A brief overview of the topic will be given when he/she arrives.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation - The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Subjects passed: Immunology Previous experience with: in a lab The student must be independent, curious, and interested.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Students in biomedical fields
- Khoury G. et al. (2018) The Molecular Biology of HIV Latency. In: Zhang L.; Lewin S. (eds) HIV Vaccines and Cure. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; vol 1075. Springer; Singapore
- Darcis; G.; Driessche; B.V.; & Lint; C.V. (2016). HIV Latency: Should We Shock or Lock? Trends in immunology; 38 3; 217-228 .
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