•   Mailing Address
    The Scripps Research Institute
    130 Scripps Way #3C1
    Jupiter, Florida 33458

  •   Phone and Fax Numbers
    Lab      (561) 228-2104
    Admin  (561) 228-3509
    Fax      (561) 228-2107

Research Overview


Our lab has two main focuses of research:


HIV Therapeutics and Gene-Editing Tools




Novel HIV Therapeutics


Due to HIV having such a vast amount of genetic diversity in not just a global sense but also in each infected indvidual, traditional vaccine strategies have proven futuile in the battle of the virus. Many labs have now decided to focus on more unique ways to develop vaccines that can overcome the vast diversity of HIV and therefore its ability to escape many therapeutic remedies.


Our lab is focusing on the advancement of these novel approaches to HIV vaccine development through several unique directions. One such approach uses a synthetic protein called eCD4-IgG. eCD4-IgG is a protein centralized around the protein CD4-Ig which binds to HIV's natural cellular binding receptor, CD4, to inhibit entry of the virus into cells. However, eCD4-IgG differs in its ability to also use a CCR5 mimetic peptide to also bind to HIV's coreceptor needed for efficient cell entry. This approach has made significant strides in countering the incredible diversity of HIV by inhibiting two highly conserved aspects of HIV that are required for HIV cellular entry. The ability to counter the immense diversity of the virus has been demonstrated by this protein's exceptional aptitude to fully neutralize over 200 uniquely diverse isolates of HIV. Our current work is focused on further characterization and improvement of this protein, as well as creating a long-term transgene expression system using Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) in hopes to one day have a viable vaccine.


Check out the below video of Michael Farzan explaining more about eCD4-Ig and it's potential as a vaccine through the use of recombinant AAV vectors!



Characterization and Improvement of Current and Novel Gene-Editing Tools