Torbett Laboratory

Lab News

Congratulations to Christian Gallardo for a Successful PhD Dissertation Defense!

(July 10, 2020)

The Torbett Lab would like to congratulate Christian Gallardo for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation on July 10, 2020, entitled: "Novel Sequencing Strategies for Interrogating HIV Activation Dynamics in Infected Host Cells and Tracing Viral Evolution at the Single Molecule Level".

His work sought to address the potential role of alternative splicing during HIV latency and reactivation from latency. To undertake these studies, he developed a quantitative full-length RNA-seq methodology allowing simultaneous profiling of poly-adenylated HIV and host cell transcripts from the J-Lat cell line model of viral latency. These studies resulted in the identification of what appears to be a novel pathway that may modulate Gag assembly. Christian's work also sought to address the role of novel mechanisms of drug resistance to antiretrovirals in circulating HIV virions. For this, he developed a nanopore-based long-range sequencing methodology to obtain accurate HIV cDNA sequences covering the entire Gag-Pol region from clinical isolates, with the goal of tacing of novel evolutionary pathways that result in drug failure. cgallardo

Dr. Bruce Torbett supervised his research. The disseration committee included Juan C. de la Torre, Ph.D., Brian M. Paegel, Ph.D. and Ali Torkamani, Ph.D., while Jesse Bloom, Ph.D. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, served as an external examiner.

Christian began his studies at the Torbett Laboratory as a Graduate Student in 2015 through the Scripps Research Institute's Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences. He plans to continue his work on viral genomics, with an emphasis on decoding how viral RNAs modulate fitness at different stages of the viral lifecycle.


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Department of Immunology and Microbiology

The Scripps Research Institute

Director, Molecular Basis of Viral Pathogenesis Training Program

Director, CFAR Protein Expression and Proteomics (PEP) Core

Co-Director, HIV Interaction and Viral Evolution (HIVE) Center

Co-Director, UCSD Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)


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