Pilot Award Recipient: Ian Toma, PhD, MD

Dr.Toma

The effect of maternal HIV infection on baseline immune landscape of neonates

July 26, 2017
The project is aimed at identification of transcripts (genes) differentially expressed in the umbilical cord blood of neonates born to HIV infected and uninfected women. These transcripts should be affected by the level of HIV infection in pregnant women because some of maternal infections and particles may cross the placental barrier and get into the neonatal circulation during the gestation of fetuses. The identified transcripts may serve as indicators of the basal immune landscape of neonates. Ultimately, the identified and validated transcripts will be used to characterize the level of maturation of the neonatal immune system, its preparedness for early vaccinations, and magnitude of responses to potential infections. These findings will be possible to use in neonates born to HIV infected mothers in DC and other geographical areas of the US and worldwide.