The Lewin Group

Department / Centre
The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Sharon Lewin (03) 8344 3159 Personal web page

Project Details

  1. HIV and co-infections

    Co-infections with viral or bacterial pathogens cause significant morbidity in patients with HIV. In the case of HIV/HBV co-infection, morbidity and mortality secondary to liver disease is greatly increased compared to those infected with HBV or HIV alone. Mortality remains elevated even after treating both the HIV and HBV virus. The HBV Immunology Lab investigates the mechanism of how HIV can accelerate liver disease in patients co-infected with HBV. They hypothesise that this occurs by combined effects of HIV and HBV on inflammation in the liver. These studies could potentially lead to new treatments for liver disease. In addition they have a long-standing interest in developing novel assays to characterise the immune response to other important HIV co-infections, including cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Cryptococcus.
  2. HIV Latency Reversing Agents

    The biggest hurdle in curing HIV infection in an individual is that the virus remains dormant in some populations of cells, hiding from the immune system and the cocktail of antiviral drugs. This is described as HIV latency and poses a major barrier to curing HIV. The Lewin laboratory’s research focuses on agents that ‘wake up’ dormant HIV hiding in the body and reverse HIV latency. One group of drugs they strongly focus on is histone deacetylase inhibitors.

  3. HIV Reservoir Virology

    This project’s major focus is on unravelling the viral determinants of HIV latency. The team use innovative virological techniques to understand how the virus can persist on ART using CD4+ T-cells from HIV-infected individuals on ART. There is also a major interest in developing assays to better quantify HIV persistence on antiretroviral therapy.

  4. HIV-related immune reconstitution and immune activation

    Following antiretroviral therapy, CD4+ T-cells recover but often don’t recover to normal levels and immun
    ts are no longer at risk of AIDS associated illnesses, they are at increased risk of other diseases including cardiovascular disease, neurological disease and malignancy. The Lewin lab is interested in determining novel host factors that influence immune reconstitution including genetic factors.

  5. Dendritic cells and immunomodulation in HIV

    Dendritic cell-T cell interactions in different tissues are critical in generating T-cell immunity, and this interaction is important in controlling productive HIV infection and latency in T-cells. The Lewin laboratory are exploring how different types of dendritic cells can control the establishment, reversal and maintenance of HIV latency. One major interest of this group is the role of immune check points and their blockade in DC-induced HIV latency.


  • Dr Jennifer Audsley, Post-doctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr Jenny Anderson, Post-doctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr Jori Symons, Post-doctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr Jennifer Zerbarto, Post-doctoral Research Fellow
  • Ajantha Rhodes, Lab Manager
  • Surekha Tennakoon, Research Officer
  • Ashanti Dantanarayana, Research Assistant
  • Wei Zhao, Research Fellow
  • Dr Kasha Singh, PhD student
  • Dr Matthew Pitman, PhD student
  • Youry Kim, PhD student
  • Haoming Liu, PhD student
  • Jared Stern. PhD student
  • Rachel Pascoe, PhD student
  • Carolin Tumpach, Research Support Officer
  • Socheata Chea, Clinical Research Support and Systems Administrator

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

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