Microbiology and Immunology

The Division of Microbiology and Immunology at the Emory National Primate Research Center provides leadership, resources and training to advance molecular and biological approaches to understand, prevent and treat infectious diseases.

By using nonhuman primates and rodents to study the progression of disease and to test new approaches to prevent and treat these infections in the most relevant animal models, Emory Primate Center (EPC) scientists provide the basic biomedical research that eventually will result in novel strategies for treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in humans. Current research in the Division of Microbiology and Immunology focuses on vaccines and treatments for HIV and AIDS; pathogenesis of immunodeficiency virus infections in nonhuman primates; comparative AIDS research; immunopathogenesis of hepatitis C virus; studies of novel candidate vaccines for Zika virus and group A Streptococcus infections.

One of the EPC's foremost scientific goals is the development of a vaccine and a cure for HIV infection and AIDS through efforts that are catalyzed by the ERASE AIDS Program and the newly established ERASE HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory. To this end, scientists in this division receive funding from the NIH through several large collaborative projects, including the Consortium for AIDS Vaccine Research in Nonhuman Primates, The Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI-ID) and the Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development program (IPCAVD), as well funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To facilitate exchange of HIV/AIDS-related information, the Emory Primate Center hosted the 39th Annual Symposium on Nonhuman Primate Models for AIDS (PDF). This is the premier scientific forum for the exchange of information, including new research findings and scientific perspectives, among HIV/AIDS investigators whose research includes studies in nonhuman primates.

Mirko Paiardini, PhD, a leader in better understanding and treating HIV/AIDS as well as examining approaches to cure HIV, serves as Division Chief. Core scientists for the division are Rama Rao Amara, PhD, who is also Associate Director for Research Strategy, Arash Grakoui, PhD, R. Paul Johnson, MD, and Mir