Dr Annapurna Vyakarnam
(PhD in Tumour Immunology from Darwin College, Cambridge, UK)
Ramalingaswamy Fellow/ Visiting Professor
Centre for Infectious Disease ResearchIndian Institute of Science, CV Raman Avenue, Bangalore, India
Adjunct Professor at St John's Research Institute
St John's Hospital Medical School, Bangalore & National Institute for TB Research, Chennai, India.
Tel: 0091-80-2360-4348 (IISc Office)/ 0091-9945385960 (India mobile)
E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
My laboratory probes host pathogen interactions and adaptive immunity pertinent to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HIV-tuberculosis (TB) coinfection. Specifically we focus on understanding CD4 T cell function, which is a key orchestrator of immunity to both HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and plays a central role in disease process. Tuberculosis (TB) is the most important opportunistic infectious disease in HIV infected subjects, especially in TB endemic areas, like India and South Africa. TB in these patients may result from reactivation of latent infection or from new infection. While most opportunistic infections tend to present late in the course of HIV infection when CD4 T cell counts have declined, the risk of TB is substantially increased at all stages of HIV infection including those with preserved CD4 T cell counts. Consequently, HIV infection has dramatically increased TB incidence globally. Given the global increase in multidrug resistant (MDR) TB, there is strong consensus in the scientific community and funding bodies of the need to improve our understanding of the mechanisms that drive selective early presentation of TB in HIV+ve patients and the associated need to develop effective therapeutic strategies in the treatment of HIV-TB coinfection.
In order to study HIV-TB coinfection, I have set up a fully functional wet lab facility at the premier Indian research institute, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), in Bangalore (www.iisc.ernet.in), with excellent clinical links to St John’s Research Institute, affiliated to St John’s Medical College, one of the top ten medical colleges in India (www.sjri.res.in), the National AIDS Research Institute in Pune (www.nari-icmr.res.in) and the National Institute for TB Research, Chennai (www.nirt.res.in).
My laboratory uses cellular, molecular, immunological and functional genomic approaches to probe in vitro infection systems as well as conduct an in depth functional analysis of clinical samples from HIV/TB-infected and or HIV-TB coinfected subjects aimed to deconvolute the adaptive T-cell response in such subjects.
The overall goal of my laboratory is to improve understanding of disease process and use this understanding to develop effective immunotherapeutic strategies in the treatment of HIV and TB.