The Guzzo Lab
A viral immunology laboratory focused on host-pathogen interactions and HIV infection.
Statement of Solidarity
The Guzzo Lab stands in solidarity with the Black community to denounce all forms of racism, and actively affirm that Black Lives Matter. We are outraged that the Black community has, for generations, been burdened with acts of systemic violence and police brutality. Furthermore, we know COVID-19 disproportionally affects Black and other marginalized groups due to failures of the system as a whole. The aforementioned examples are only a snapshot of systemic racism across the globe which has unjustly disadvantaged generations of individuals from racialized communities.
While only the Black community can truly understand the pain and trauma they have suffered at the hands of social injustices, allies must do their part to educate themselves in order to use their positionality in society to amplify Black voices and enact change. While we alone cannot resolve all the inequities caused by systemic racism in our society, the Guzzo Lab is committed to ensuring an inclusive education and training experience in our lab. Our commitments are further detailed on a separate page in this site.
Areas of Research
Dedicated studies to further our understanding of host-pathogen interactions.
Mechanisms of HIV-1 Control and Pathogenesis
The natural history of HIV infection is highly heterogeneous in different individuals, spanning from a stable asymptomatic condition to a rapid disease evolution. A major determinant of the pace of HIV disease progression is the in vivo level of viral replication, which is regulated by an intricate network of bioactive molecules, including both soluble immune modulators and cell-associated receptors. My research aims to precisely delineate the molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 control and pathogenesis, underlying interactions between soluble and cell-derived molecules with the HIV-1 envelope, with a goal of identifying new vulnerabilities on the virus that may lead to novel targets for therapy and prevention.
Novel Cytokine Expression Patterns
It has been well established that cytokines have extraordinary potential as ‘immunological multi-taskers’. These small molecular weight proteins can be expressed via a variety of stimuli, in a multitude of cell types throughout the body, and can elicit a broad range of responses. Key features of cytokines, such as glycosylation and positioning of charged domains, can drastically influence biological functions, protein stability, protein-protein interactions (oligomerization), and receptor engagement.
Interestingly, some cytokines can even be stored at high concentrations, preformed inside producer cells, awaiting rapid release without requiring de novo synthesis, resulting in high-speed immune responses. While much work is centered on downstream functions of cytokines, we seek to understand earlier events in the expression, secretion, and interplay among these proteins, in an effort to establish how cytokines are regulated in a normal-functioning immune system, before disease disrupts the equilibrium.
Want to learn more about our research projects?