Current approaches to treating HIV-AIDS require patients to take a combination of antiretroviral medicines for the rest of their lives.
If a safe and effective gene therapy strategy could be developed, it would allow patients to better control their disease without a daily and expensive pill burden.
Students in Karl Haushalter’s lab are helping to develop a lentivirus delivery vehicle that could potentially be used to genetically engineer hematopoietic stem cells (HSC’s) harvested from patients. After being genetically modified and expanded in culture, the resulting HSC’s could then be reinfused into the patient to reconstitute the patient’s immune system with cells that are resistant to infection by HIV.
This work is being pursued in collaboration with Dr. John Rossi and Dr. Lisa Scherer at the City of Hope National Medical Center.
In addition to these scientific pursuits, Haushalter is active in community efforts to combat the stigma associated with HIV-AIDS and support those living with HIV-AIDS through education and empowerment.
- Haushalter’s TEDxClaremont Colleges talk