2019 Joe Doupe Young Investigator Award – Dr Andrés Finzi
2019 Joe Doupe Young Investigator Award Winner
Dr Andrés Finzi
Exposing Env: implications in the fight against HIV
The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein trimer (Env) represents the only virus-specific antigen exposed on the surface of virions and infected cells. As such, Env is the main target for neutralizing antibodies and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). In its unliganded form, Env samples a “closed” conformation which has been referred as State 1. Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) preferentially recognize this particular conformation. CD4 engagement drives Env into an intermediate “partially open” State 2 conformation and then into the “open” State 3. Emerging evidence suggest a link between Env “open” conformations and the elimination of HIV-1-infected cells via ADCC. We will discuss new strategies aimed at stabilizing these “open” conformations and their implication in the fight against HIV-1.
Dr Andrés Finzi is an associate professor at Université de Montréal and holds the Canada Research Chair on Retroviral Entry. Dr Finzi did his graduate studies at Université de Montréal. He then moved to Boston for his postdoctoral training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. In 2011 he was recruited by Université de Montréal and the CRCHUM to expand his research program on HIV-1. Through their innovative approach to studying the virus, Dr Finzi and collaborators have proudly reached a major breakthrough which might be important in the fight for a functional cure. Dr Finzi and his team are funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Research Chairs, Fonds de Recherche du Québec en Santé, American Foundation for AIDS Research and the National Institutes of Health.
Click here to find out more about the Joe Doupe Young Investigators Award and past recipients.