Jose O. Maldonado-Ortiz
Graduate School Trainee,
Graduate School Trainee
BS, University of Puerto Rico (Natural Sciences)
HIV-1 mutagenesis and drug resistance; HTLV-1 Gag trafficking and particle assembly
Approximately 30 million individuals have died of AIDS and 33 million are currently infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) worldwide. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is currently the best treatment for HIV infection. HAART has dramatically reduced the rate of HIV-1 and AIDS-related morbidity and mortality. However, drug administration may result in drug therapy failure, which is associated with drug resistance mutations. Drug resistance significantly limits the clinical benefit of antiretroviral treatment. I am a D.D.S./Ph.D. dual degree student and my research will thoroughly investigate the biological relevance of the A62V amino acid substitution in HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT).
Previous molecular analyses of HTLV-1 replication have been severely hampered by the low levels of viral replication in tissue culture. In particular, the low level of viral replication of HTLV-1 in tissue culture has been thought to be due, in part, to the poor infectivity of cell-free HTLV-1 particles. Given the technical and experimental limitations of working with HTLV-1, our group created an experimental model system that is amenable to successfully and efficiently analyzing HTLV-1 particles. My research is using a combination of cryo-EM/ET, scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and FFS to further investigate HTLV-1 particle size and Gag stoichiometry.
Publications in PubMed