Lara Manganaro - Researcher

Department and institution: Istituto Nazionale di Genetica Molecolare “Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi” INGM
tel. +39 02 00660303
Curriculum Vitae
see also: Google Scholar, ORCID

Keywords: HIV, latency, CD4 T cells

Research interests

    HIV persists over decades despite seemingly effective antiretroviral treatment (HAART). HIV persistence relates to the fact that HIV integrates into the genome of the host cell, thus becoming an integral part of cellular DNA. Infected cells harboring a transcriptionally silent “latent” provirus evade immune surveillance and persist over many years despite long-term HAART. While there is agreement that memory CD4 T cells play a central role in HIV persistence, fundamental gaps remain in our understanding of how HIV latency is established and maintained.

    Emerging evidence suggest that CD4 T memory stem cells (TSCM), the least differentiated of all CD4 T cell memory populations, support HIV infection. However, the extent of the impact of TSCM on establishment of HIV latency, persistence and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesize that HIV exploits the stemness of TSCM to create a persistent, self-renewing HIV reservoir, which bypasses the need for de novo infection. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying HIV persistence in CD4+ T memory stem cells is essential to develop targeted interventions allowing shrinking and purging of the latent reservoir.

Main topics of the group

    HIV infection, latency establishment, innate immunity

Current research projects

    Ministero della Salute, Ricerca Finalizzata-Giovani Ricercatori
    “CD4 T memory stem cells in the context of HIV infection"
    In collaboration with Dr. Andrea Gori, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico - Milano

Internal and external collaborators

    Dr. Andrea Gori, Unità Operativa Complessa Malattie Infettive, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico - Milano
    Dr. Viviana Simon, Department of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA

Selected Publications

last update: July 2019