Spector Pathogenesis Laboratory
Stephen Spector, MD
Pathogenesis Specialty Lab Director
Dr. Spector, a world leader in HIV research for more than 30 years, is Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the UCSD Mother-Child-Adolescent HIV Program. Over his career, he has applied molecular biologic and genetic approaches to answer questions of viral pathogenesis, genetic risk for diseases and the role of host genetics in drug metabolism (pharmacogenetics). His laboratory research has focused on the pathogenesis of HIV and CMV. His interest in the identification of host factors that affect HIV pathogenesis led his lab to the novel finding that during permissive infection, HIV down-regulates autophagy to promote its own replication, and the induction of autophagy inhibits HIV replication. This research led his lab examining the association of host factors that control HIV replication with the goals of understanding the pathogenesis of HIV associated neurocognitive disorders and identifying novel strategies to control and potentially to eradicate HIV from infected cells including the CNS. Recently, his laboratory has pioneered the use of nanoengineered CD4+ T cell membrane-coated nanoparticles to neutralize a broad range of HIV strains that selectively bind and kill HIV-1 infected CD4+ T cells and macrophages while having no effect on uninfected cells.
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