Marina Caskey is an Associate Professor of Clinical Investigation at The Rockefeller University. Her research focuses on the development and testing of a promising new strategy that uses broadly neutralizing antibodies to prevent or treat HIV infection. Dr. Caskey graduated from medical school at the Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil, in 1998. She then completed an internal medicine residency at Saint Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, in New York, followed by fellowship training in infectious diseases at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Over the last 5 years, Dr. Caskey has led a series of early-phase clinical studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies. These antibodies were isolated and characterized from patient blood cells by sophisticated cloning methods developed in the laboratory of Dr. Michel Nussenzweig, and Dr. Caskey has been instrumental in their early clinical evaluation. Her studies have revitalized this area of HIV research, which had been abandoned after first-generation antibodies failed to show significant effects in humans. She successfully showed that a combination of two such antibodies can maintain viral suppression in individuals harboring sensitive viruses, and also showed the first indications that these molecules pursue immune modifying effects and can directly target the latent reservoir of HIV-infected cells during established HIV infection. Broadly neutralizing antibodies are now considered one of the most promising strategies to achieve HIV remission, as well as potential alternatives to antiretrovirals for both therapy and prevention. Her seminal studies have shaped this new area of research and several groups in the US and abroad are now studying the antiviral and immune modifying effects of these molecules in combination with other therapeutic strategies.