Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine
The Department of Microbiology
Center for Microbial Interface Biology
460 W. 12th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 292-3256
Jesse Kwiek, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine with a joint appointment in the Department of Microbiology
Prevention of HIV-1 mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) has been successfully implemented in the developed world, where the annual incidence of MTCT has been reduced to less than 2%; for example, in 2005, the USA reported 86 cases of perinatally acquired HIV. However, in the developing world, HIV-1 MTCT remains a serious public health problem, with approximately 530,000 children newly HIV-1 infected in 2006 (http://www.unaids.org/). Approximately 20% of all MTCT occurs in utero, and although many countries are scaling up programs to provide single-dose nevirapine prophylaxis (http://www.globalfund.org/), this treatment will not reduce in utero MTCT.
The Kwiek lab seeks to better understand the molecular biology and epidemiology of in utero HIV-1 MTCT. This will be accomplished, in collaboration with colleagues at both The Ohio State University and The Malawi College of Medicine, by addressing the following questions:
1. Are specific HIV-1 envelope genotypes or phenotypes associated with HIV-1 MTCT?
2. Does the placenta represent a unique HIV-1 compartment?
3. Where does HIV-1 localize in the placenta?