The Arts' laboratory in
Cleveland is located on the 10th floor of the Biomedical Research
Building and is well equipped with all the instrumentation required
for molecular virology studies. In addition, the Center for AIDS
Research at CWRU provides additional infrastructure including a
biosafety level 2 and 3 laboratory.
The Arts' laboratory is
currently funded by grants from the NIAID and NICHD, NIH. We currently
have two post-doctoral fellows, two research assistants, and four
graduate students but this number continues to fluctuate. Collaborations
have been established with several research groups around the world
including Dr. Solomon at the National AIDS Center in Argentina,
Drs. Holmes and Prof. Phillips at University of Oxford, Dr. Mullins
and a team of scientists at University of Washington, Dr. Vanham
at the Institute of Tropical of Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. However,
our closest interactions are with the Joint Clinical Research Centre
in Kampala, Uganda (Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, Director and Dr. Cissy Kityo,
General Research Interests
Heterogeneity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV- 1) has
a significant impact on viral fitness, disease progression in the
patient, emergence of drug resistance, and development of an effective
vaccine. Although encompassing a broad range of topics, all of our
research projects are related to HIV-1 genetic diversity.
We have recently observed
that the replicative capacity or fitness of HIV-1 is very strong
predictor of disease progression. HIV-1 fitness and diversity appears
to increase during disease, which suggests the Red Queen Hypothesis
may be in play.
Several divergent HIV subtypes co-circulate in throughout the world.
We now have evidence that subtype C, which dominates the HIV-1 epidemic
may actually be less fit. This observation provides evidence for
HIV-1 attenuation in the epidemic.
As part of a program project, we are testing the anti-HIV activity
of beta chemokine analogs (e.g. AOP-RANTES). This project involves
testing these drugs against divergent, primary HIV- 1 strains, isolated
throughout the world. We are trying to characterize the mechanism
of inhibition by these chemokine analogs by studying HIV-1 binding
to CD4 and CCR5. A beta chemokine analog may be employed as vaginal
viricide to prevent HIV infections in developing countries.
Treatment with antiretrovirals results in the emergence of drug
resistant HIV- 1 isolates. In many instances, these drug resistant
isolates may pre-exist and even predominate in the intrapatient
HIV population prior to treatment. We are studying the baseline
and emergence of drug resistant HIV- 1 isolates in HIV-infected
Co-infection of a human host with two different strains of HIV-1
will lead to recombination. In parts of the world where two subtypes
co-circulate, intersubtype HIV-1 recombinants are becoming prevalent
and hampering the development of effective HIV-1 vaccines. Our studies
focus on the molecular mechanisms involved in intersubtype HIV-1
recombinations as well as the fitness of these recombined isolates
Division of Infectious
Biomedical Research Building, Room 1010
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
CWRU-JCRC Virology laboratory
in Kampala, Uganda
Location and structure
This virology laboratory was established in 1999 with support from
the Fogarty International AIDS Training Program, the Center for
AIDS Research, and NIH grant funds from Dr. Arts. The laboratory
is located at the Joint Clinical Research Centre, a medical clinic
and center directed by Dr. Peter Mugyenyi and supported by the Ugandan
Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Health, and Makerere University.
This state-of-the-art laboratory is equipped with instrumentation
for molecular biology studies including an automated sequencer,
PCR thermocyclers, and gel electrophoresis equipment.
Currently, the laboratory
employees an on-site director, Korey Demers and two research assistants,
Fred Kyeyune and Stanley Bulima.
General Research Interests
The research interests of this laboratory basically mirrors the
overall objectives of the Arts Laboratory. However, this laboratory
also performs various clinical assays including viral loads.