The Wilson laboratory studies the human immune response to HIV-1 infection, the factors that drive HIV-1 pathogenesis in intestinal mucosal tissue, the mechanistic interactions between microbes and immune cells in the mucosa and the impact of physiological aging on the gut mucosal immune system. We take a translational research approach conducting both clinical studies and in vitro mechanistic studies with much of the work performed as a “collaboratory” with Dr. Mario Santiago in the Division of Infectious Diseases. We also collaborate on various projects with colleagues both here at the University of Colorado and throughout the United States.
• Dr. Mario Santiago, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO
• Dr. Kristine Erlandson, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO
• Dr. Daniel Frank, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO
• Dr. Edward Barker, Rush University, Chicago, IL
• Dr. Alan Landay, Rush University, Chicago, IL
• Dr. Ivona Pandrea, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Role of Type I IFNs in Mucosal HIV-1 Immunity and Pathogenesis [R01, NIH/NIAID]
Primary Investigator: Dr. Cara Wilson and Dr. Mario Santiago
Co-investigators: Dr. Steph Dillon, Dr. Kejun Guo (Santiago Lab)
The main goal of this project is to investigate the mechanism(s) underlying the protective and pathological role of Type I IFNs in mucosal HIV-1 infection.
Gut Cytotoxic CD4 T cells in HIV-1 Pathogenesis [R01, NIH/NIAID]
Primary Investigators: Dr. Cara Wilson and Dr. Mario Santiago
Co-investigators: Dr. Steph Dillon, Dr. Kejun Guo (Santiago Lab)
The main goal of this project is to understand the biology of human gut cytotoxic CD4 T cells and their role in mucosal HIV-1 replication, CD4 T cell death and HIV-1-associated inflammation.
Dysregulated gut-microbe CD4 T cell interactions with Aging. [R21, NIH/NIA]
Primary Investigator: Dr. Cara Wilson
Co-investigators: Dr. Steph Dillon
The main goal of this project is to understand the effects of aging on microbiome-gut immune cell interactions.
SIV Pathogenesis in African Green Monkeys and Pigtailed Macaques [R01, NIH/NIAID]
Primary Investigator: Dr. Ivana Pandrea
Co-investigators: Dr. Wilson and Dr. Steph Dillon
The main goal of the project is to determine how diet and gut microbiome interact during SIV infection.
Switch from Homeostatic to
Inflammatory Cytokines by NK/ILC in HIV-infected Gut [R01, NIH/NIAID]
Primary Investigators: Dr. Cara Wilson with Dr. Edward Barker.
Co-investigator: Dr. Steph Dillon
The goal of the project was to determine the impact of HIV-1 infection on gut natural killer/innate lymphoid cells.
Mechanisms of HIV-associated Gut T Cell Depletion [R01, NIH/NIAID]
Primary Investigator: Dr. Cara Wilson.
Co-investigators: Dr. Steph Dillon and Dr. Mario Santiago
The goal of this project was to determine the host, microbial and virological determinants governing killing of gut CD4+ T cells by R5-tropic HIV-1.
I am a Professor of Medicine with tenure in the Division of Infectious Diseases and hold a secondary appointment in the Department of Immunology. My laboratory studies the human immune response to HIV-1 infection, the factors that drive HIV-1 pathogenesis in intestinal mucosal tissue, the mechanistic interactions between microbes/microbial products and immune cells in the mucosa and the impact of physiological aging on the gut mucosal immune system. We take a multidirectional approach to these investigations intersecting discoveries generated during research in the laboratory with knowledge gained from undertaking human clinical studies.
I am a dedicated educator and mentor and have mentored over 20 research trainees, ranging from pre-doctoral students to junior faculty. I previously served as a member of the Education, Training, and Career Development (ETCD) program of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) and have led the Pre K career development grant review program and co-led the KL2 program. I served as Vice Chair for Faculty Advancement and then as Executive Vice Chair for the Department of Medicine until July 2020, and in those roles promoted faculty career development and leadership training in research, clinical practice, and educational missions. I currently serve as Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Colorado and oversee all aspects of this dual M.D. and PhD training program.
I obtained by PhD in Immunology from the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Toward the end of 2005, Dr. Wilson recruited me to the University of Colorado as a post-doctoral fellow and with her tremendous supervision, guidance, mentorship and friendship, I rose to Instructor and Assistant Research Professor. I now consider that my official hire date coinciding with “World AIDS Day” to be a fortuitous sign of things to come in my new career as a basic and translational HIV-1 research scientist! My research interests include understanding the impact of HIV-1 on innate immunity, the mechanisms that drive HIV-1-associated gut T cell depletion and the host-microbiome interactions in the setting of HIV-1 infection. Recently, I have expanded on my expertise in these areas and, with Dr. Wilson, have begun a new area of research broadly focused on understanding how these features are impacted in persons living with and without HIV as they age.
I am a PhD student researching cytotoxic CD4 T cells as they relate to gut mucosa and HIV. I was lucky to join the Santiago and Wilson collaboratory as a research assistant and to continue onto graduate education with this group. When not doing research, I can be found hiking + trail running!
Ya'at'eeh (Hello). I come from the beautiful southwest with a background in cellular and molecular biology. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside the Wilson lab as a research assistant and support their ongoing research in the world of gut immunity in relation to HIV-1 infection and aging. As I learn the ins and outs of this branch of immunology, I am also learning how to explore the outdoors on a mountain bike with my sweet pup Hazel.
|Amanda Steele||Post-doctoral Fellow||Scientific Writer, Denver, Colorado|
|Kevin Rufner||Gastroenterology Fellow||Gastroenterologist, Denver, Colorado.|
|Rebecca (Alyson) Yoder||Post-doctoral Fellow||Scientific Writer, Denver, Colorado|
|Jay Liu||Infectious Disease Fellow||Infectious Disease Specialist, Geneva, Illinois|
|Moriah Castleman||Post-doctoral Fellow||Research Associate, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus|
|Jennifer Manuzak||PhD Graduate Student||Assistant Professor, Tulane University|
|Jon Kibbie||MD/PhD Graduate Student||Dermatology Resident, University of Colorado School of Medicine|