Maternal and Pediatric Infectious Disease Branch (MPIDB)

MPIDBOverview/Mission

MPIDB (formerly the Pediatric, Adolescent, and Maternal AIDS Branch) supports and conducts domestic and international research related to the epidemiology, diagnosis, clinical manifestations, pathogenesis, transmission, treatment, and prevention of HIV infection and its complications in infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant and nonpregnant women. As the HIV epidemic has evolved and other infectious diseases have emerged in the United States and globally, the branch has ensured that its funded research reflects these changes and addresses important research opportunities and gaps as they arise, including HIV-associated co-infections (such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, and malaria) in children and pregnant women. Furthermore, MPIDB supports and conducts research on the epidemiology, natural history, pathogenesis, transmission, treatment, and prevention of other significant infectious diseases, including congenital infections, such as Zika virus and cytomegalovirus; tropical diseases, specifically those that affect children and pregnant women; and vaccine-preventable disease in infants, children, adolescents, and women. 

Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases

Gap: Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are ongoing threats and often have a disparate impact on pregnant women, infants, children, and adolescents.

Priority: Study emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases that affect pregnant women, infants, children, and adolescents, including their impact on the pediatric nervous system.

HIV: Adolescent Prevention

Gap: While effective biomedical modalities to prevent HIV infection in adults now exist, none have been shown to be effective in adolescents.

Priority: Investigate ways to increase the use of interventions to prevent HIV (e.g., feasible, acceptable, safe, and scalable strategies to increase uptake of and adherence to HIV prevention modalities) in adolescents and young adults, and assess their effectiveness.

HIV: Adverse Pregnancy and Infant Outcomes Related to Prevention or Treatment

Gap: With widespread use of lifelong antiretroviral therapy and newer agents, more women are conceiving while on therapy. Thus, while perinatal HIV transmission rates have declined, concerns persist that use of antiretroviral medications may increase adverse pregnancy and infant outcomes (e.g., preterm birth).

Priority: Identify and investigate causes of adverse pregnancy and infant outcomes that may be associated with antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy and methods to prevent them.

HIV: Cure/Remission in Infants and Children

Gap: HIV cure strategies may be different for infants and children than adults.

Priority: Characterize HIV reservoirs and persistence, and pursue potential strategies, including vaccine- and other immune-based therapy research, for HIV cure/remission in infants and children.

Immune Cross-Talk in Infant Immune System Development

Gap: Infectious disease may influence immune cross-talk in pregnant women and their fetuses, thus impacting development of infant immunity.

Priority: Support research to understand the immune cross-talk in pregnant women, placenta, and fetus, including contribution of microbiome/virome and host-pathogen interactions on development of the infant immune system.

Two major priorities for the clinical research networks are: 1) HIV and tuberculosis therapeutics in infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant women and 2) epidemiologic research in individuals living with HIV or at risk of HIV, including infants, children, adolescents, and young adults who were exposed to HIV in utero.

  • Rohan Hazra, Branch Chief
    Main Research Areas: Epidemiology and natural history of HIV infection and HIV exposure in infants, children, and adolescents; programs and networks; therapeutic research in HIV infection in infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant & non-pregnant women; other pediatric infectious diseases; data sharing
  • Samantha Calabrese, Public Health Analyst
    Main Research Areas: Portfolio analysis methodology; epidemiology; Zika
  • Nahida Chakhtoura, Medical Officer
    Main Research Areas: Epidemiology and natural history of HIV infection in pregnant and non-pregnant women; Zika; women's health; cohort studies and clinical trials
  • Bill Kapogiannis, Medical Officer
    Main Research Areas: Adolescent HIV prevention and treatment; youth HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis; youth HIV care continuum; HIV vaccines; emerging infectious diseases; adult and pediatric infectious diseases
  • Sonia Lee, Health Scientist Administrator
    Main Research Areas: Adolescent HIV infection; neurodevelopment and assessment; behavioral science
  • Eric Lorenzo, Health Scientist Administrator
    Main Research Areas: HIV cure; HIV persistence/latency and reservoirs
  • Jack Moye, Medical Officer
    Main Research Areas: Laboratory quality assurance; biospecimen repository management; virology and immunology research; epidemiologic cohort studies and clinical trials
  • Denise Russo, Deputy Branch Chief
    Main Research Areas: HIV in women; infant immunity

Highlights

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