The CHAVI Scientific Leadership Group has selected Hongshuo Song, MD, PhD of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute as the CHAVI Young-Investigator-of-the-Month for April. This award recognizes outstanding young investigators who have made significant contributions to the CHAVI mission and who have been nominated by their mentors for their exceptional leadership and valuable research. The CHAVI SLG began presenting this award each month in January 2009 to recognize the accomplishments of dedicated and talented young investigators whose contributions have been outstanding and essential to the success of CHAVI programs and initiatives. CHAVI respects the unique efforts from our young investigators and values their continued dedication to CHAVI.
Hongshuo Song, MD, PhD, Duke Human Vaccine Institute
Feng Gao, MD, mentor
Hongshuo Song received both her M.D. (2007) and Ph.D (2010) from Peking University. For her Ph.D. thesis, she studied the envelope mutations associated with the neutralization susceptibility of hepatitis C virus and the transcriptional regulation of HIV-1. Dr. Song joined Dr. Gao’s laboratory as a postdoctoral associate at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute in 2010.
Dr. Song’s work with the CHAVI Viral Sequencing Team has focused on the development of a new viral fitness assay based on a highly sensitive parallel allele-specific sequencing method. She worked in collaboration with the T cell Immunology Discovery Team to study the fitness costs of CTL escape mutations in the context of the cognate transmitted/founder (T/F) viral genomes without artificial genetic markers. The results from her studies have demonstrated various fitness costs of CTL escape mutations compared to the T/F viral genome.
Youdong (Jack) Mao, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Joseph Sodroski, MD, mentor
Youdong Mao received his B.S. in Physics from Wuhan University in China in 1999, followed by a Ph.D. in Biophysics at Peking University in 2005. Dr. Mao is currently undergoing postdoctoral training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in HIV-1 structural biology. Dr. Mao is being recognized for his work on the CHAVI Structural Biology Team, which involved preparing HIV-1 trimeric envelope glycoproteins, including the design and creation of envelope glycoprotein, and antibody and receptor variants to test their potential for crystallization alone and in complexes.
Dr. Mao's research interests include developing biological cryo-electron microscopy in combination with bio-nanotechnology and high-performance computing and applying these approaches to analyze the structure of the membrane-bound HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein trimer and understand relevant antigen-antibody interactions.
Hsun-Hsien Chang, PhD, Harvard Medical School
Norman Letvin, MD, mentor
Hsun-Hsien Chang is a bioinformatics scientist in the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program at Harvard Medical School. He received his PhD (2007) in Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University where he conducted cardiac magnetic resonance imaging at the Pittsburgh NMR Center for Biomedical Research. He received his BS (1998) in Electrical Engineering from National Tsing Hua University and his MBA (2000) from National Chengchi University in Taiwan.
Dr. Chang's research interests lie at the intersection of information processing and biology with the twin objectives of understanding the information processing in biology and applying novel schemes of data analysis to biological investigations. His current projects involve in the development of system biology approaches to infer functional networks of biomolecules.
As part of the CHAVI Computational Biology Team, Dr. Chang has designed novel computational algorithms and statistical tools to analyze the gene expression data from RNA expression profiling. In collaboration with the Letvin group, Dr. Chang has defined novel molecules that contribute to the early control of the simian immunodeficiency virus following infection.
Ashley Trama, Duke University
Barton Haynes, MD, mentor
Ashley Trama received her B.A. in Biology with a concentration in Biological Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in 2008. As an undergraduate in Dr. Ann Sheehy's lab, she investigated HIV-1 virion packaging of the anti-retroviral cytidine deaminase APOBEC3G. Ashley joined the labs of Dr. Barton Haynes and Dr. Larry Liao in March 2009, and she is currently a PhD candidate in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program and the Immunology Department at Duke University.
Ashley’s work with the CHAVI B Cell Immunology Discovery Team has focused on comparing the HIV-1 antibody repertoire in terminal ileum and blood by isolating immunoglobulin genes from single plasma cells and memory B cells. She is using pyrosequencing methods in conjunction with the single cell PCR of immunoglobulin genes to understand how compartmentalized B cell clonal lineages are in the blood and mucosal tissues and analyze how B cell clonal lineages expand and contract over time.