Host Genetics and Cellular Immunity


Principal Investigator: Christian Brander


Our group is investigating cellular immunity against viral infections, in particular in hosts with compromised immunity, and to understand epigenetic mechanisms that regulate this cellular immunity.  The cohorts analysed in our studies include people with early HIV infection, people with controlled and uncontrolled HIV infection, and non-HIV-infected individuals who have received solid organ transplants or who have been diagnosed with viral-driven cancers, such as EBV lymphoma, or HPV-driven cancers. We are exploring different avenues to identify immunological correlates of HIV control in natural infection, and have set out to identify markers associated with HIV-related neurofunctional defects. These studies also include detailed analysis of the T-cell receptor repertoire of specific T-cell responses to HIV, in order to determine the molecular ontogeny of those responses and understand the transcriptional programme of these cells, with a view to guiding vaccination strategies that could induce robust, long-lasting and effective antiviral immunity.

Finally, we also study possible factors governing HCV evolution in liver transplant patients and immune determinants of organ rejection in HIV-infected patients who have received a kidney transplant from a donor who is also HIV-infected.

Keywords: methylation, host factors, organ transplantation, neurofunction, virus immune control
Principal Investigator

Christian Brander

Christian Brander graduated from the University of Bern in 1994 with a PhD in Immunology, having studied exogenous antigen re-presentation on HLA class and T-cell-mediated hyper-reactivity to penicillin. He spent the next 13 years at Harvard University, where he focused on...


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Irsi Caixa

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'La Caixa' Foundation Generalitat de Catalunya - Departament de Salut


HR Excellence in Research

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