Douglas S. Kwon
The focus of the Kwon lab is the application of new technologies to the study of immune responses against HIV at mucosal surfaces.
Mucosal surfaces represent the primary site of HIV transmission and the largest reservoir of viral replication. Despite this, the immune response to HIV has largely been studied in blood, which contains just 2-3% of all lymphocytes- a small minority relative to the 60-90% of the body’s T and B cells that reside at mucosal sites. One of the greatest barriers to better understanding these responses is the inherently small amount of material obtained from mucosal sampling. The Kwon Lab is employing new technologies, such as high throughput sequencing and nanowell technologies developed by our collaborators at the MIT, to simultaneously capture multiple measures of viral, metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, culturomic and adaptive immune factors important for HIV immunity and pathogenesis. Using these methodologies, we have begun to map microbial communities and mucosal immune responses in the lung, female reproductive tract, and gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), at a level of resolution not previously possible employing standard assays.
This work uses the large, well-characterized patient cohorts available at the Ragon Institute to better understand susceptibility to HIV acquisition and HIV disease progression. We also perform a significant amount of work in Africa in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu Natal HIV Pathogenesis Program, KRITH, CAPRISA, FRESH, and the University of Cape Town, to better understand the HIV epidemic in the developing world.
Dr. Douglas Kwon is a physician scientist at Harvard Medical School, Director of Clinical Operations at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, and has a clinical practice in the Infectious Diseases Division at Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his M.D. Ph.D. degrees from New York University, and underwent Internal Medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco and New York Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He completed his training in the combined Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Infectious Disease fellowship program.
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