As an NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholar, Chad has made great strides during his DPhil studies under supervision of Dr. Sergi Padilla-Parra and co-supervision of Dr. Ewoud Compeer in Oxford. Chad has utilized advanced imaging approaches such as fluorescent lifetime imaging and single particle tracking to illustrate a link between the basal metabolic state of host CD4 T cells and success of HIV-1 fusion. He has been able to show that these processes are linked by cholesterol levels that affect membrane order and tension of the host T cell. This work increases our knowledge of how HIV-1 infects target T cells and as Statin treatment proved effective in vitro, translation from bench-to-bedside is in reach.
Simone came to Oxford as part of her Master program Biomedical Sciences at the University of Leiden. In her 6 months in Oxford she mastered a variety of highly specialised techniques, including a.o. 3D immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, live Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy, primary T cell isolation and lentiviral-mediated CRISPR approaches to knock out genes in these T cells. Her work demonstrated for the first time a crucial role for ESCRT1 protein in providing help to human dendritic cells in vitro. This drove us to pursuit the in vivo role of ESCRT1 and has shed light on a crucial pathway underlying effective vaccination responses.