Zabrina Brumme

Dr. Zabrina Brumme’s research integrates molecular biology, epidemiology and computational approaches to study HIV evolution in response to selection pressures imposed by the human cellular immune response. One of the greatest challenges to HIV vaccine design is the virus’ capacity to evade immune recognition through rapid mutation, a process called “immune escape.”

Through the analysis of population-based cohorts of HIV-infected individuals in Canada and worldwide, Brumme’s lab has helped create “maps” of the HIV genome that systematically identify specific sites and pathways of immune escape in viral proteins. She is also interested in studying how human immune selection pressures have shaped HIV evolution over the course of the epidemic, and the implications of this on vaccine design. Most recently, her work has focused on assessing the consequences of immune escape mutations to HIV replication and viral protein function.