The research of my group focuses on 1) Investigation of clinical and biological phenomena during acute HIV infection, 2) studying HIV-1 transmission at the level of biology and the population, 3) the investigation of transmitted and acquired HIV drug resistance, 4) research on efficacy and side effects of antiretroviral therapy, 5) investigating the latent reservoir, 6) transmission and treatment of sexually transmitted and co-infections e.g. Hep B and C, , 7) virus – host interactions after HIV-1 infection (eg. humoral and cellular immune responses).
A summary of all research projects of Prof. Huldrych Günthard can be found in the project database of the University of Zurich
In the following four larger projects are briefly described. Further information can be accessed by the links to the specific project descriptions:
Klinischer Forschungsschwerpunkt (KFSP) „viral infectious diseases": Zurich Primary HIV-Infection Study (ZPHI).
Despite large success in treating HIV-infected people, there is neither an efficient vaccine nor a cure by drugs within reach. For patients presenting with early HIV-infection the Zurich Primary HIV Infection explores new treatment strategies, in particular studying how the latent reservoir can be manipulated, and investigates biological properties of the transmitted HIV-1 virus strains, in addition, special emphasis is put on clinical presentation during acute and recent HIV infection. This clinical research priority program is an interdisciplinary initiative at the interface of clinical medicine, virology, epidemiology, immunology and bioinformatics. The study runs since 2002 and so far > 360 patients with acute of chronic HIV-1 infection have been enrolled.
The Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS)
The Swiss HIV Cohort Study is a clinic based, multicenter longitudinal study enrolling HIV-infected women and men of all transmission routes. The study is active in research in clinical HIV medicine and in the field of basic, social and preventive sciences. It was started in 1988 and enrolls > 19'000 patients. The SHCS is instrumental for the high quality of care that HIV-medicine has achieved in Switzerland and in general for a better understanding of the virus – host interactions between HIV and the human body. (www.shcs.ch, http://p3.snf.ch/project-148522)
HIV-1 Transmission in Switzerland: viral transmission traits, superinfection and drug resistance
This project will help to improve the knowledge on biological properties of the transmitted HIV-1 virus strains. For this reason, viruses are studied from patients who transmit the virus to other individuals. In addition we systematically investigate the frequency and why superinfections do occur. Finally, we will study the transmission of resistant HIV-1, particularly focusing on non B subtypes. This study is based on two high quality longitudinal studies: the Swiss HIV Cohort Study and the Zurich Primary HIV Infection Study.
Deciphering Host-Virus Interactions to Cure HIV
(HIV-X (Medical Research and Development Projects, SystemsX.ch)
There is still no cure available that completely eliminates HIV from the human body. One reason for this is that the virus is able to establish a viral reservoir. The researchers of the HIV-X MRD project will investigate how HIV persists, and plan to develop models to predict individual treatment responses. This project is again based on the SHCS and the ZPHI study and overall we plan to study > 1'300 patients.
Funding sources of selected research projects:
Collaborations in Switzerland
- Prof. Niko Beerenwinkel, PhD, ETHZ-BSSE, Basel
- Dr. Jasmina Bogojeska, IBM Rüschlikon
- Prof. Sebastian Bonhoeffer, PhD, ETHZ, Zürich
- Prof. Jacques Fellay, EPFL, MD, Lausanne
- Prof. Volker Roth, PhD, Universität Basel, Basel
- Prof. Tanja Stadler, PhD, ETHZ, BSSE, Basel
- Prof. Alexandra Trkola, PhD, IMV, UZH Zürich
- Swiss HIV Cohort Study
Collaborations outside Switzerland