Dr. Lichterfeld’s research interests focus on the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection, on investigating HIV-1 immune defense mechanisms, and on developing clinical strategies that can reduce residual HIV-1 disease in patients treated with antiretroviral therapy. HIV-1 pathogenesis studies are designed to address fundamental question related to the mechanisms by which HIV-1 causes disease in humans, and through which HIV-1 can establish an extremely long-lasting reservoir of HIV-1 infected cells that persists despite currently available antiretroviral treatment. His work on immune defense mechanisms against HIV-1 includes studies focusing on adaptive CD4 T and CD8 T cell immune responses, and on dendritic cells, immune induction and innate effector cells; many of these investigations are performed in the context of HIV-1 elite controllers, a rare group of HIV-1 infected patients who are able to maintain undetectable levels of HIV-1 replication in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. His clinical research interests include pilot clinical studies that aim at reducing persisting reservoirs of HIV-1 infected cells, and on increasing immune activity against HIV-1; the ultimate aim of these studies is to induce a long-term drug-free remission of HIV-1 infection in larger patient populations. As a practicing infectious disease physician, Dr. Lichterfeld focuses on research projects that take advantage of bi-directional interchanges between mechanistic basic science investigations and translational activities and emphasize direct patient involvement in research studies.
Mathias Lichterfeld, MD, PhD