Major Areas of Research
- Dynamics of immunologic and virologic parameters in HIV-infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy
- HIV and ageing
- HIV Multi-drug resistance
- HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders
Our laboratory conducts Phase I clinical trials to evaluate novel therapeutic strategies aimed at achieving virologic suppression in HIV-infected individuals. Additionally, using bench-to-bedside approaches, we conduct translational research to address fundamental pathogenesis questions, such as mechanisms of viral persistence, the role of host immunity in suppression of the virus, and development of therapeutic agents.
Dr. Rai earned a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.,B.S.) from Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan in 2008 where he was a part of Dr. Syed Ali’s team, which helped to identify and shed light on the HIV situation in Pakistan, publishing in Retrovirology, BMC Infectious Diseases, amongst others. After completing medical school, he joined Prof. Andrew McMichael and Prof. Sarah Rowland-Jones at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to study immune corelates of protection in a cohort of long-term non-progressors analyzing HLA, T-cell, ADCC and ADCVI responses.
After completing his D.Phil. in Clinical Medicine, he became a part of the Physician Scientist Training Program at the University of Cincinnati where he completed his residency in Internal Medicine, followed by a fellowship in Infectious Diseases. He worked as a part of Prof. Paul Spearman’s lab at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he analyzed HIV infection in the human brain setting, investigating human microglial models. He was faculty at the University of Cincinnati prior to moving over to NIAID in 2021. Dr. Rai is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.
Rai MA, Hammonds J, Pujato M, Mayhew C, Roskin K, Spearman P. Comparative analysis of human microglial models for studies of HIV replication and pathogenesis. Retrovirology. 2020 Nov 19;17(1):35.
Rai MA, Pannek S, Fichtenbaum CJ. Emerging reverse transcriptase inhibitors for HIV-1 infection. Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2018 Jun;23(2):149-157.
Rai MA, Zhang Y, Yindom LM, Holmes J, Yu LM, Hao C, Rostron T, Yan H, Zhang YL, Cai C, McMichael AJ, Dong T, Rowland-Jones SL, Blais ME, Xu KY. HLA correlates in a cohort of slow progressors from China: effects on HIV-1 disease progression. AIDS. 2013 Nov 13;27(17):2822-4.
Rai MA. Epidemic: Control of dengue fever in Pakistan. Nature. 2011 Nov 2;479(7371):41. Rai MA, Nerurkar VR, Khoja S, Khan S, Yanagihara R, Rehman A, Kazmi SU, Ali SH. Evidence for a "Founder Effect" among HIV-infected injection drug users (IDUs) in Pakistan. BMC Infect Dis. 2010 Jan 12;10:7.
Rai MA, Warraich HJ, Ali SH, Nerurkar VR. HIV/AIDS in Pakistan: the battle begins. Retrovirology. 2007 Mar 21;4:22.