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

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

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.

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, Koup RA. Follicular CD8 T cells accumulate in HIV and can kill infected cells in vitro via bispecific antibodiesSci Transl Med. 2017 Jan 18; 9(373). pii: 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, Douek DC. Multiple origins of virus persistence during natural control of HIV infectionCell. 2016 Aug 11; 166(4):1004-15.

Lynch RM, Boritz E, Coates EE, DeZure A, Madden P, Costner P, Enama ME, Plummer S, Holman L, Hendel CS, Gordon I, Casazza J, Conan-Cibotti M, Migueles SA, Tressler R, Bailer RT, McDermott A, Narpala S, O’Dell S, Wolf G, Lifson JD, Freemire BA, Gorelick RJ, Pandey JP, Mohan S, Chomont N, Fromentin R, Chun TW, Fauci AS, Schwartz RM, Koup RA, Douek DC, Hu Z, Capparelli E, Graham BS, Mascola JR, Ledgerwood JE; VRC 601 Study Team. Virologic effects of broadly neutralizing antibody VRC01 administration during chronic HIV-1 infectionSci Transl Med. 2015 Dec 23; 7(319):319ra206.

Sandler NG, Bosinger SE, Estes JD, Zhu RT, Tharp GK, Boritz E, Levin D, Wijeyesinghe S, Makamdop KN, del Prete GQ, Hill BJ, Timmer JK, Reiss E, Yarden G, Darko S, Contijoch E, Todd JP, Silvestri G, Nason M, Norgren RB Jr, Keele BF, Rao S, Langer JA, Lifson JD, Schreiber G, Douek DC. Type I interferon responses in rhesus macaques prevent SIV infection and slow disease progressionNature. 2014 Jul 31;511(7511):601-5.

Boswell KL, Paris R, Boritz E, Ambrozak D, Yamamoto T, Darko S, Wloka K, Wheatley A, Narpala S, McDermott A, Roederer M, Haubrich R, Connors M, Ake J, Douek DC, Kim J, Petrovas C, Koup RA. Loss of circulating CD4 T cells with B cell helper function during chronic HIV infectionPLoS Pathogens. 2014 Jan 30;10(1):e1003853.

Yukl SA, Boritz E, Busch M, Bentsen C, Chun TW, Douek D, Eisele E, Haase A, Ho YC, Hütter G, Justement JS, Keating S, Lee TH, Li P, Murray D, Palmer S, Pilcher C, Pillai S, Price TW, Rothenberger M, Schacker T, Siliciano J, Siliciano R, Sinclair E, Strain M, Wong J, Richman D, Deeks SG. Challenges in detecting HIV persistence during potentially curative interventions: A study of the berlin patientPLoS Pathogens. 2013 May;9(5):e1003347.

Content last reviewed on June 27, 2017