"Visualizing HIV transmission and prevention"
Professor Tom Hope
Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology, McCormick School of Engineering and Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
[Host: A/Prof Jo-Ann Passmore]
For more than a decade Prof Hope's laboratory has focused on utilizing the methods of cell biology to study HIV. To facilitate this work, he has developed a series of novel tools and approaches and the laboratory’s core approach has been deconvolution microscopy. Much of the effort has focused on live cell observations which reveal novel insights into the dynamics of biological functions. Using live cell microscopy, Prof Hope found that HIV moves on microtubules. Further, his laboratory has defined the mechanism of the enhancement of infectivity by dendritic cells through an "infectious synapse". His research has revealed the dynamic nature of the interaction between HIV and TRIM5 alpha in the cytoplasm during restriction. More recently, he has focused on the interaction of HIV with intact epithelial barriers which line the surfaces exposed during sexual transmission.