Immunology Faculty Member - Douglas Kwon, MD, PhD

Douglas Kwon, MD, PhD

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
400 Technology Square, Suite 892

Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: (857) 268-7009
Visit my lab page here.

The focus of the Kwon lab is the application of new technologies to the study of immune responses against HIV at mucosal surfaces.

Mucosal surfaces represent both the primary site of HIV transmission and the largest reservoir of viral replication. Despite this, the immune response to HIV has largely been studied in the peripheral blood, which contains just 2-3% of all lymphocytes- a small minority relative to the 60-90% of the body’s T and B cells that reside at mucosal sites. One of the greatest barriers to a more detailed understanding of these responses is the inherently small amount of material that can be obtained from mucosal sampling. We are therefore employing new technologies, such as next generation sequencing and those developed in conjunction with our collaborators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to simultaneously capture multiple measures of viral, metagenomic, and adaptive immune factors important for HIV immunity and pathogenesis. Using these methodologies we have begun to map mucosal immune responses in gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and the female reproductive tract at a level of resolution that has not been possible employing standard assays. We are also determining the mechanism by which HIV impairs mucosal immune responses in the lung which then result in greater susceptibility to tuberculosis infection. This work is being performed using the large, well characterized patient cohorts available at the Ragon Institute to better understand resistance to HIV acquisition and spontaneous control of chronic HIV infection. We also perform a significant amount of work in Africa in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu Natal HIV Pathogenesis Program,KRITH, CAPRISA, FRESH, and the University of Cape Town, to better understanding the HIV epidemic in the developing world.

Dr. Douglas Kwon is a physician scientist at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and Director of Clinical Operations at the Ragon Institute. He has a clinical practice in the division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his M.D. Ph.D. degrees from New York University and then underwent Internal Medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco and New York Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He then completed his training in the combined Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Infectious Disease fellowship program.

Last Update: 3/31/2015


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