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Investigating the cell biology of HIV.

The Thomas Hope Lab

Research Interests: HIV science from a cell biology approach, supplemented with molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics to study various aspects of HIV from virus entry and assembly, to defining the earliest steps of the sexual transmission of HIV; microscopic imaging; fluorescent labeling of HIV particles or viral proteins and the identification of infected cells; HIV prevention science, including vaccine and microbicide research.

Thomas J. Hope, PhD is a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine and in Biomedical Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University. Dr. Hope’s laboratory has been a pioneer the use of cell biology approaches to study HIV providing images and movies of HIV interacting with cells and tissues.  For the past 25 years, his research has focused on HIV Cellular Virology. More recently, this focus has expanded to HIV related mucosal immunology, HIV transmission and HIV Prevention Science.

The Hope Lab utilizes a series of imaging based tools to define key viral and host players of the earliest days of the transmission event in the physiologically relevant context of anatomy and physiology of live animals and human tissues. The lab uses several approaches to allow the efficient identification of foci of SIV mucosal infection. HIV/SIV particles, mucosal tissue barriers, host target or effector cells and infected cells can be directly visualized. The Hope Lab can leverage these imaging capabilities to do in vivo PK/PD studies utilizing systemic and topical PrEP approaches. Together, these approaches provide unique insights into the space and time of the earliest events of HIV transmission and prevention to inform the development of approaches to stem the AIDS pandemic that continues around the world. 

Lab Leadership

Thomas J. Hope, PhD
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, Obstetrics and Gynecology and McCormick School of Engineering

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