Dr. Kathryn M. Dupnik, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Center for Global Health and the Division of Infectious Diseases, has received a Clinical Scientist Development Award (CSDA) from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). Out of 210 applications, 16 physician-scientists were selected with input from a panel of distinguished experts in the medical field. For her project entitled, “Dynamics of the HIV Reservoir and Mycobacterium tuberculosis Burden in People with HIV-TB,” Dr. Dupnik was one of the 16 to receive a CSDA. The CSDA will provide Dr. Dupnik with $495,000 over three years in support of her research studies in the area of infectious diseases.
Specifically, Dr. Dupnik’s research study is focused on the dynamics of the integration of HIV provirus in host cells of HIV-infected people who have TB (tuberculosis), versus HIV-infected people who do not have TB. In HIV-infected people, a history of treated TB is associated with increased risk of recurrent TB as well as mortality. Dr. Dupnik’s project hypothesizes that this increased risk is related to an increased HIV reservoir resulting from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection.
“With the current interest in ‘kick and kill’ strategies for eliminating HIV reservoirs in human patients, we need to comprehend the dynamics of the HIV reservoir when a person has had TB in the past,” explains Dr. Dupnik. “Any HIV cure developed must be implementable in TB-endemic countries where HIV burden is high. We must understand how Mtb impacts HIV reservoir for HIV cure to be globally feasible.”
Using state-of-the-art techniques in the laboratory, Dr. Dupnik’s research will be completed as part of a close collaboration between GHESKIO Centers in Port au Prince, Haiti, and scientific labs at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York.