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null Grupo del Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria-Fundación Jiménez Díaz

Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria-Fundación Jiménez Díaz (Madrid)


Research Group on HIV and Viral Hepatitis (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria-Fundación Jiménez Díaz, UAM / Hospital Universitario Rey Juan Carlos)

Under the leadership of doctors José Miguel Benito and Norma Rallón, the research group on HIV and Viral Hepatitis develop translational research focuses on the eradication of HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis at Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria-Fundación Jiménez Díaz, UAM. Our goal is excellence in research and, we have a wide network of collaboration with different prestigious research groups at the national and international level. Our group is integrated into the Spanish AIDS Research Network (RIS), participating in two of its current programs: Immunopathogenesis Program, and Vaccine Program. We coordinate two working groups within these programs: Work package on "Mechanisms associated with HIV control"; and Work package on "Platforms for the evaluation of the immunological response in trials of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccination against HIV in animals and humans". Our lines of research are the following:

  • Persistence and latency of HIV. Through studies at molecular and cellular level, we seek to achieve a better understanding of latency and viral persistence (HIV reservoir) with the aim to identify better therapeutic strategies for the eradication or at least for the long-term control of HIV (functional cure).
  • HIV Elite Controllers (EC) as a model for immunomodulatory therapies. EC patients are an exceptional group of individuals in whom viral replication is spontaneously controlled without antiretroviral treatment. Our objective is to elucidate the mechanisms associated with the control of virus replication in these patients, which is essential when designing immunomodulatory therapeutic strategies aimed at controlling the viral reservoir and viral replication without the need for antiretroviral treatment (functional cure).
  • Strategies of therapeutic vaccination against HIV. Given the numerous long-term side effects of antiretroviral therapy, it is of utmost relevance to search for immunomodulatory strategies that help to control viral replication without antiretroviral therapy (functional cure). In the last years, our group has been working with the Spanish group of vaccines within the AIDS Research Network to analyze to what extent different functional characteristics of the HIV-specific T-cells response are modulated by the different vaccine candidates used in current clinical trials of therapeutic vaccination.
  • Immune reconstitution. Our group works in the search for host factors involved in the poor recovery of CD4 T cells in HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy, an increasing problem due to the high prevalence of new late diagnoses (with severe immunosuppression at the moment of diagnosis).
  • Role of HCV coinfection in the pathogenesis of HIV infection. HCV and HIV viruses coexist chronically in a large population of patients. So, the aim is to decipher their interactions in co-infected patients (HIV/HCV) which is of pivotal importance for the clinical and therapeutic management of this special population of patients.

Moreover, our group is member of Spanish Consortium of Elite Controllers (EC) involved in the study of immunologic and molecular mechanisms associated to the loss of immunologic and/or virological control in these EC patients.

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José Miguel Benito
Beatriz Álvarez
Alfonso Cabello
Marcial García
Miguel Gorgolas
Laura Prieto
Norma Rallón
Clara Restrepo
Ramón Pérez

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