Eli Boritz, M.D., Ph.D.

Eli Boritz, M.D., Ph.D.

Credit: NIAID
Chief, Virus Persistence and Dynamics Section (VPDS)

Major Areas of Research

  • Mechanisms of HIV persistence in vivo
  • Genetic and gene expression analyses of viruses and host cells

Program Description

The goal of the VPDS is to help develop means of targeting virus reservoirs and reducing disease progression in people living with HIV. One path toward this goal is to clarify the fundamental biology of HIV persistence during antiretroviral therapy (ART). Motivated by the genetic and functional diversity within key cellular reservoirs for the viruswe are developing high-throughput methods for characterizing large numbers of single cells and viruses in great detail. Topics under investigation include the unique genetic programs expressed by infected cells; heterogeneity among individual infected cells as measured using “omics” tools; and the use of virus genetic analysis to detect critical events that may not be directly observable in vivo. We are investigating these issues both in individuals treated with standard-of-care ART and in study participants receiving experimental HIV cure-directed therapies.


Dr. Boritz began his HIV research career in the mid-1990s as a summer student in the laboratory of Dr. John K. Rose. An interest in fundamental and translational studies of host-virus interactions then led him to pursue combined M.D./Ph.D. training at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He completed his Ph.D. in the Immunology Program studying HIV-specific CD4 T-cell responses with Dr. Cara Wilson. After an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he came to NIAID as a fellow in infectious diseases. Following the clinical portion of his fellowship, he joined Dr. Daniel Douek's laboratory at Vaccine Research Center, where he worked to understand the cellular and molecular events that allow HIV reservoirs to persist in vivo. He joined the NIH faculty to establish the VPDS in 2017.

In addition to his activities in the research lab, Dr. Boritz serves as a core faculty member for the NIAID Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program, an attending physician on the NIAID Infectious Diseases Consult Service, and an HIV clinic preceptor for first-year Infectious Diseases fellows.

Group Members

Mohammad Abu-Laban
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering – Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Biological and Agricultural Engineering – Louisiana State University
B.S., Chemical Engineering – Louisiana State University

Aisha AlJanahi
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – NIH/Georgetown University GPP
M.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/Bioinformatics – Georgetown University
B.S., Medical Laboratory Technology – University of Dammam

Elham (Ellie) Bayat-Mokhtari
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Statistics – University of Montana
M.S., Mathematical Statistics – Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
B.S., Applied Statistics – Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

Sung Hee Ko
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering – Pohang University of Science & Technology
M.S., Mechanical Engineering – Pohang University of Science & Technology
B.S., Mechanical Engineering – Pusan National University

Miranda (Max) Lee
Postbaccalaureate Fellow
B.A., Biochemistry – Mount Holyoke College

Prakriti Mudvari
Ph.D., Molecular Medicine – George Washington University
M.S., Genomics and Bioinformatics – George Washington University
B.S., Biology – Bowling Green State University
Liliana Pérez Rodriguez
Ph.D., Physiology & Integrative Biology – UMDNJ/Rutgers University
B.S., Biology – University of Puerto Rico

Hannah Shepard
Postbaccalaureate Fellow
B.S., Biology, Global Health – Duke University

Selected Publications

Ko SH, Bayat Mokhtari E, Mudvari P, Stein S, Stringham CD, Wagner D, Ramelli S, Ramos-Benitez MJ, Strich JR, Davey Jr. RT, Zhou T, Misasi J, Kwong PD, Chertow DS, Sullivan NJ, and Boritz EA. High-throughput, single-copy sequencing reveals SARS-CoV-2 spike variants coincident with mounting humoral immunity during acute COVID-19. PLoS Pathog. 2021 Apr 8;17(4):e1009431.

Asokan M, Dias J, Liu C, Maximova A, Ernste K, Pegu A, McKee K, Shi W, Chen X, Almasri C, Promsote W, Ambrozak DR, Gama L, Hu J, Douek DC, Todd JP, Lifson JD, Fourati S, Sekaly RP, Crowley AR, Ackerman ME, Ko SH, Kilam D, Boritz EA, Liao LE, Best K, Perelson AS, Mascola JR, Koup RA. Fc-mediated effector function contributes to the in vivo antiviral effect of an HIV neutralizing antibody. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Aug 4;117(31):18754-18763.

Shen CH, DeKosky BJ, Guo Y, Xu K, Gu Y, Kilam D, Ko SH, Kong R, Liu K, Louder MK, Ou L, Zhang B, Chao CW, Corcoran MM, Feng E, Huang J, Normandin E, O'Dell S, Ransier A, Rawi R, Sastry M, Schmidt SD, Wang S, Wang Y, Chuang GY, Doria-Rose NA, Lin B, Zhou T, Boritz EA, Connors M, Douek DC, Karlsson Hedestam GB, Sheng Z, Shapiro L, Mascola JR, Kwong PD. VRC34-Antibody Lineage Development Reveals How a Required Rare Mutation Shapes the Maturation of a Broad HIV-Neutralizing Lineage. Cell Host Microbe. 2020 Apr 8;27(4):531-543.e6.

Pérez L, Anderson J, Chipman J, Thorkelson A, Chun TW, Moir S, Haase AT, Douek DC, Schacker TW, and Boritz EA. Conflicting evidence for HIV enrichment in CD32+ CD4 T cells. Nature. 2018 Sep;561(7723):E9-E16.

Petrovas C, Ferrando-Martinez S, Gerner M, Pegu A, Deleage C, Ambrozak A, Del Río-Estrada P, Paris R, Boswell K, Ruiz-Mateos E, Boritz E, Giannikaki E, Leal M, Ablanedo-dTerrazas Y, Rivero A, Gonzalez-Hernandez LA, Reyes-Teran G, Docobo F, Pantaleo G, Douek DC, Betts MR, Estes JD, Germain R, Mascola J and Koup RA. Cytolytic follicular CD8 T cells accumulate in HIV and kill infected cells in vitro via bispecific antibodies. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Jan 18;9(373):eaag2285.

Boritz EA, Darko S, Swaszek L, Wolf G, Wells D, Wu X, Henry AR, Laboune F, Hu J, Ambrozak D, Hughes MS, Hoh R, Casazza JP, Vostal A, Bunis D, Nganou-Makamdop K, Lee JS, Migueles SA, Koup RA, Connors M, Moir S, Schacker T, Maldarelli F, Hughes SH, Deeks SG, and Douek DC. Multiple Origins of Virus Persistence during Natural Control of HIV Infection. Cell. 2016 Aug 11;166(4):1004-1015.

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