Lichterfeld

Lichterfeld, Mathias D., M.D.

Lab Info:

Principal Investigator: Lichterfeld, Mathias D., M.D.

Office/Location: Jackson 5

Phone: (617) 724-7516

Email: mlichterfeld@partners.org

Category: Associate Members

Dr. Mathias Lichterfeld is an infectious disease physician who works as a basic science investigator, as a clinical care provider, and as a mentor and educator for residents and clinical/research fellows.

 

My research interests focus on understanding mechanisms of natural control of HIV-1 infection in “elite controllers”, and on developing clinical strategies that may lead to a long-term drug-free remission of HIV-1 infection in a broader patient population. We are currently involved in three major activities:

 

Identification of host factors that inhibit HIV-1 replication steps in elite controllers.

Our previous work has shown that CD4 T cells, the main target cells for HIV-1, may be less susceptible to HIV-1 infections in persons with natural control of HIV-1. This suggests that specific cell-intrinsic mechanisms can block individual HIV-1 replication steps in these cells. We are using a number of cellular, molecular and biochemical assays to identify such cell-intrinsic components of immune defense, and to understand their mechanisms of action.

 

Identification of CD4 T cell subpopulations that serve as long-term reservoirs for HIV-1.

These efforts aim at identifying novel cell and tissue reservoirs for HIV-1. Over the recent years, immense progress has been made in defining individual CD4 T cell subpopulations with distinct functional and developmental properties. We investigate which CD4 T cell subsets serve as predominant niches for viral long-term persistence, and aim at identifying specific molecular pathways in these cells that can be targeted to reduce viral persistence.

 

Design and development of interventional clinical strategies that reduce HIV-1 persistence.

The development of clinical interventions that reduce viral long-term persistence and limit the need for life-long treatment represents one of the highest priorities in HIV-1 research. Our group focuses on developing pharmaceutical and immunological strategies to reduce HIV-1 persistence, and on evaluating such interventions in clinical studies.

 

Press

Protein That Helps Battle HIV – Harvard Gazette article

Discovering Where HIV Persists In Spite Of Treatment – Harvard Gazette article

MGH/Ragon Institute study finds how protein blocks HIV life cycle in elite controllers – MGH News Releases

 

Major Recent Publications

1. Leng J, Ho HP, Buzon M, Pereyra F, Walker BD, Yu XG, Chang E, Lichterfeld M. A cell-intrinsic inhibitor of HIV-1 reverse transcription in CD4 T cells from elite controllers. Cell Host & Microbe 2014 (in press).

 

2. Buzon MJ, Pereyra F, Martin-Gayo E, Ouyang Z, Sun H, Li JZ, Piovoso M, Shaw A, Dalmau J, Zangger N, Martinez-Picado J, Zurakowski R, Yu XG, Telenti A, Walker BD, Rosenberg ES, Lichterfeld M. Long-term antiretroviral treatment initiated in primary HIV-1 infection affects the size, composition and decay kinetics of the reservoir of HIV-1 infected CD4 T cells. J Virol 2014 (in press)

 

3. Sun H, Buzon M, Shaw A, Karteebahn Berg R, Yu XG, Ferrando-Martinez S, Leal M, Ruiz-Mateos E, Lichterfeld M. Hepatitis C therapy with Interferon- and Ribavirin reduces CD4 T cell-associated HIV-1 DNA in HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients. J Infect Dis. 2014 May 1;209(9):1315-20. PMID:24277743.

 

4. Buzon M, Sun H, Li C, Shaw A, Seiss K, Ouyang Z, Martin-Gayo E, Leng J, Henrich T, Li J, Pereyra F, Zurakowski R, Walker B, Rosenberg E, Yu X, Lichterfeld M. HIV-1 persistence in CD4 T cells with stem cell-like properties. Nat Med 2014 Feb;20(2):139-42. PMID: 24412925.

 

5. Buzon, MJ, Yang, Y, Ouyang Z, Sun H, Seiss K, Rogich J, Le Gall S, Pereyra F, Rosenberg ES, Yu, XG, Lichterfeld M. Susceptibility to CD8 T cell-mediated killing influences the reservoir of latently HIV-1 infected CD4 T cells. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014 Jan 1;65(1):1-9. PMID:23846565.

 

6. Yang Y, Al-Mozaini M, Buzon M, Beamon J, Ferrando-Martinez S, Ruiz-Mateos E, Rosenberg ES, Pereyra F, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M. CD4 T cell regeneration in HIV-1 elite controllers. AIDS. 2012 Mar 27;26(6):701-6. PMID: 22301416.

 

7. Vigneault F, Woods M, Buzon M, Li C, Pereyra F, Crosby SD, Rychert J, Church G, Martinez-Picado J, Rosenberg ES, Telenti A, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M. Transcriptional profiling of CD4 T cells identifies distinct subgroups of HIV-1 elite controllers. J Virol. 2011; 85:3015-9.

 

8. Chen H, Li C, Huang J, Cung T, Seiss K, Beamon J, Carrington MF, Porter L, Burke P, Ryan B, Weiss R, Cress W, Rosenberg ES, Walker BD, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M. CD4 T cells from elite controllers resist HIV-1 infection by selective upregulation of p21 (waf-1/cip-1). J Clin Invest 2011; 121:1549-60.

 

9. Buzon MJ, Seiss K, Weiss R, Brass LB, Rosenberg ES, Pereyra F, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M. Inhibition of HIV-1 integration in ex vivo infected CD4 T cells from elite controllers. J Virol 2011; 85:9646-50.

 

10. Williams K, Seiss K, Beamon J, Pereyra F, Rosenberg ES, Walker BD, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M. Epigenetic regulation of telomerase expression in HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cells. AIDS. 2010;24:1964-6.

 

More publications

Current Members

navin

Fatema (Navin) Chowdhury | fchowdhury@partners.org

Navin joined Dr. Yu and Dr. Lichterfeld’s group in August of 2014 as a Research Fellow. She received her PhD in Immunology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where she studied how innate cytokines regulate CD8+ T cell function. She is interested in infectious diseases in the context of global health and in Xu’s lab she will study immune response to HIV-1. A native of Bangladesh, Navin grew up in the beautiful tea gardens of Srimongol and developed a love for the wilderness. She loves to travel around the world in search of culture and cuisine.

 

Lee
Guinevere (Guin) Lee | klee54@mgh.harvard.edu

Guinevere (Guin) received her PhD in HIV genotypic drug resistance and tropism inferences from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She is fascinated by the intrahost genetic diversity of HIV, and dreams to understand more about its impact on clinical outcomes. She joined Yu and Lichterfeld’s lab in August 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow to study specifically HIV reservoir(s) in different immune cell types using HIV nucleotide sequence diversity as markers. When not in the lab, Guin enjoys scuba diving, traveling, creating music and audio processing. She is also a big fan of anime.

 

HK Photo Merge

Hsiaohsuan Kuo | hkuo3@mgh.harvard.edu

Hsiaohsuan joined Ragon Institute as research fellow in August 2015. She did her PhD research under the mentorship of Dr. William Baldwin at the Lerner Research Institute, where she studied the role of platelet and the complement system in vascularized organ transplant rejection. Hsiaohsuan is now studying host factors involved in HIV latency and establishment of viral reservoir. Outside the lab, she loves attending music- or literature-related activities and exploring different places around the world.

 

Aleksanyan
Naira Aleksanyan | naleksanyan@partners.org

Naira joined the Dr. Yu and Dr. Lichterfeld’s lab in the 2016 as a research technician and clinical research coordinator. She received her BS in Biology from Suffolk University in Boston. In the past, Naira has investigated bacterial mating of Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium difficile attachment to intestinal cells. She is excited to switch from bacterial to viral work, and is currently learning to minimize killing PBMCs and infecting them with HIV. In her free time, Naira enjoys swimming, hiking, traveling, learning new idioms, and playing with goats.

 

Former Members

Dhohyung‎ Kim

Dhohyung Kim | dkim26@partners.org

Dhohyung Kim was a Research Fellow at the Ragon Institute. He received his PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology under the mentorship of Dr. Stefan Niewiesk, at the Ohio State University. In the Dr. Yu’s and Dr. Lichterfeld’s labs, Dhohyung studied the host cyclin-dependent kinases and HIV-1 reverse transcription, as well as the T cell intrinsic responses in various patient cohorts to HIV-1 infections. When not at work he enjoys traveling and driving around the city.

 

Sean Harrington

Sean Harrington | sharrington7@partners.org

Sean received his BS in Biochemistry from Northeastern University in December 2013. He joined Dr. Yu’s and Dr. Lichterfeld’s labs as a research technician and a lab manager in the spring of 2014, working to further understand the HIV-1 reservoir. When not in the lab, he enjoys going on runs around Boston and baking. Sean currently conducts cancer research at Bluebird Bio in Cambridge.

 

samantha

Samantha Tse | stse1@partners.org

Samantha is originally from Boston and received her BS in Biology at Boston College in the spring of 2014. She joined the Dr. Yu’s and Dr. Lichterfeld’s Labs shortly after in the summer of 2014 and is currently working as a Research Technician at the Ragon Institute with Dr. Dhohyung Kim studying systems biology in regards to elite controllers. When not in lab, she enjoys participating in adrenaline-inducing activities, such as rollercoasters, ziplining, and go-kart racing. She also enjoys hip hop dancing, karaoking, and hiking on long trails. Sammy is currently enrolled in a PhD/MD program at University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is interested in studying gut microbiome effects on the immune system.

 

Almudena

 Almudena Torres-Cornejo |atorres-cornejo@partners.org

Almudena has recently joined Dr. Lichterfeld’s Lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow. She obtained her Ph.D last September 2013 at the Biomedicine Research Institute of Seville, Virgen Del Rocio University Hospital, in Spain. During that period she was involved in both HIV and HCV viral infections, studying the role of plasma drugs’ concentrations, and host and viral genetic factors on the outcome of the standard HCV therapy. In addition, during last year she has been exclusively dedicated to the research of the HIV reservoir, and the impact of different treatment strategies on the replenishment of this cellular reservoir. Currently, at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard, she will be focus on the study of different pharmaceutical and immunological strategies to reduce HIV-1 persistence. When not in the lab, she enjoys going to the beach (in summer), skiing (in winter) and exploring new places.

 

Maria

Maria J Buzon | mbuzon@partners.org

Maria is a postdoctoral fellow at the Ragon Institute. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2010 at the Institute of AIDS Research, Irsicaixa in Barcelona, Spain. This is where she first became interested in the HIV-1 reservoirs that persist despite HAART. After completion of her Ph.D. program and in order to increase the international dimension of her career, she subsequently joined the Ragon Institute as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Yu’s and Dr. Lichterfeld’s labs, where she has been working for almost 3 years in different projects related to viral persistence, including the characterization of the HIV-1 reservoir in patients treated during the early phase of the infection and the identification of cells with stem-cell like properties contributing to HIV-1 long-term persistence. Currently she is a recipient of the MGH ECOR Tosteson Postdoctoral Fellowship.

 

Jin
Jin Leng

Jin was a Research Fellow in the Lichterfeld lab at the Ragon Institute. He got his Ph.D. in Immunology from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY studying parasite immunology and later joined the lab in 2012. His research projects focused on the host cyclin-dependent kinases and HIV-1 reverse transcription, as well as the T cell intrinsic responses in various patient cohorts to HIV-1 infections.

 

Hong
Hong Sun

Hong joined the Lichterfeld lab as a visiting researcher in March 2012. She obtained her M.D. in China and received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Medicine. She is now a Ph.D. student at China Medical University. Her interests in the laboratory included strategies to eradicate HIV-1, with a focus on the HIV-1 reservoir in HAART-treated patients from acute or chronic phase infection. She found living in Boston amazing and she enjoyed exploring the city. Hong returned to China in May 2014 to finish her Ph.D.

 

Xiaodong

Xiaodong Li

Xiaodong joined Dr. Lichterfeld’s Lab as a visiting student in August 2013. She is a graduate student in the Master’s/Ph.D. Combined Program at the Plant Virus Laboratory in Shenyang Agricultural University. She is from China and plans to learn the most cutting-edge virology techniques at the Ragon Institute. She has really enjoyed her first trip to the U.S. and found living in Boston wonderful. Xiaodong has returned to China to finish her PhD.

 

Amy
Amy Shaw

Amy received her BS in Microbiology and Immunology with a minor in Spanish from the University of Miami in 2012. She joined the Xu lab in early summer 2012, where she works as a research technician and as a lab manager in Dr. Yu’s and Dr. Lichterfeld’s labs. She currently works with Dr. Maria Buzon, conducting experiments to better understand the HIV-1 reservoir. When not at work, Amy enjoys going on nature walks with her dog, cooking new recipes, and going to Dave Matthews Band shows.