The UCC would like to congratulate Dr. Aníbal J. Valentín-Acevedo, Assistant Professor of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, for receiving the PR-INBRE Developmental Research Project Program Award. With this award Dr. Valentín-Acevedo will be studying the role of the HIV protein gp120 in the Unfolded Protein Response and survival of human B cells. Dr. Valentín-Acevedo joined the UCC family on July 2016 and since then he has been developing his research towards understanding the effect of HIV on B cells. While B cells are not typically infected by HIV, they are nonetheless severely affected in infected patients. In fact, these patients have a significantly higher incidence of developing B cell lymphomas.
Dr. Valentín-Acevedo’s main goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms activated in B cells in response to viral pathogens such as HIV and how these mechanisms dictate cellular responses such as survival, proliferation and cancer development.