Ahmad Lab

The main focus of Dr. Ahmad's laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms of differential HIV-1 infection in neonatal and adult target cells as well as HIV-1 vertical transmission.

Areas of investigation include: role of viral and host factors associated with a higher viral load and rapid AIDS progression in neonates/infants compared with adults; identification and characterization of host factors influencing differential HIV-1 infection and gene expression in neonatal (cord) blood mononuclear cells vs. adult cells; role of HIV-1 integration in differential HIV-1 gene expression and replication in cord vs. adult cells; mechanisms of differential HIV-1 infection in neonatal macrophages and naïve/memory T-cells vs. adult cells; molecular and biological characterization of HIV-1 involved in vertical transmission and disease progression; viral determinants, including viral heterogeneity, functional conservation/divergence of various HIV-1 genes, presence/absence of motifs in HIV-1 genes, replication efficiency, cell tropism, cytopathic effects, and coreceptor utilization associated with HIV-1 maternal-fetal transmission and pathogenesis; development and evaluation of anti-HIV-1 agents, including HIV entry inhibitors and inhibitors from natural products.