Brinda Emu MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)

Research Interests

HIV and aging; Immune dysfunction in setting of HIV infection

Current Projects

  • Evaluation of different T cell phenotypes/function across different ages of HIV-infected indivdiuals on antiretroviral therapy, compared with HIV-uninfected individuals
  • Impact of T cell aberrancies on incidence of clinical disease (focus on cardiovascular and oncology outcomes)
  • Evaluating immunologic parameters of individuals with cancer diagnoses in setting of HIV infection

Research Summary

Our laboratory is focused on understanding the persistent deficits in the immune system in individuals with HIV infection, despite the advent of successful antiretroviral therapy. Individuals with HIV, even after effective control of HIV replication, remain at higher risk fo some non-AIDS related clinical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and certain malignancies. Our research focuses on understanding those aspects of the immune system that remain impaired despite effective treatment of HIV infection. In addition, we hope to elucidate which of these persistent immunologic aberrancies are associated with clinical disease. In this way, we hope to elucidate important biomarkers for clinical risk.


Our laboratory will also be specifically focused on understanding the pathogenesis, incidence, presentation, and prognosis of cancers in the setting of HIV infection. Individuals with HIV remain at risk for particular malignancies, despite effective control of HIV replication. The malignancies where continue increased risk is seen are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, HPV-related cancers, hepatocellular carcinoma, and lung cancer. We will be studying biomarkers that will allow for early diagnosis of patients at increased risk, as well as focusing on the pathologic, molecular, and genetic differences of these cancers in HIV infected individuals compared to individuals without HIV infection.


Selected Publications

  • Emu B, Moretto W, Hoh R, Krone M, Martin JN, Nixon DF, Deeks SG, McCune JM, "Composition and Function of T Cell Subpopulations Are Slow to Change Despite Effective Anitretroviral Treatment of HIV Disease", PLoS One 2014 Jan; 9(1):e85613. PMID: 24465619
  • Emu B, Luca D, Offutt C, Grogan J, Rojkovich B, Williams M, Tang M, Xiao J, Lee J, and Davis J “Safety, pharmacokinetics, and biologic activity of a novel monoclonal antibody targeting lymphotoxin-alpha: results of a phase I randomized, placebo-controlled trial”, Arthritis Res Ther. 2012 Jan 8;14(1):R6. PMID:22225620
  • Favre D, Stoddart CA, Emu B, Hoh R, Martin JN, Hecht FM, Deeks SG, and McCune JM “HIV Disease Progression Correlates with the Generation of Dysfunctional Naïve CD8low T cells”, Blood. 2011 Feb 17;117(7):2189-99. PMID: 21200021
  • Hunt PW, J Brenchley, E Sinclair, M McCune, M Roland, K Shafer, P Hsue, Emu B, M Krone, H Lampiris, D Douek, JN Martin, SG Deeks “Relationship between T Cell activation and CD4 count in HIV-seropositive individuals with undetectable plasma HIV RNA levels in absence of therapy,” J Infect Dis. 2008 Jan 1;197(1):126-133. PMID:1817129
  • Emu B, Sinclair E, Hatano H, Ferre A, Shacklett B, Martin. JN, McCune JM, Deeks SG. “HLA Class I-Restricted T Cell Responses May Contribute to the Control of HIV Infection, but Such Responses are Not Always Necessary for Long-term Virus Control,“ J Virol. 2007; 82 (11):5398-407. PMID:18353945
  • Emu B, Sinclair E, Favre D, Moretto WJ, Hsue P, Hoh R, Martin JN, Nixon DF, McCune JM, Deeks SG “Phenotypic, functional, and kinetic parameters associated with apparent T-cell control of human immunodeficiency virus replication in individuals with and without antiretroviral treatment,” J Virol. 2005 Nov;79(22):14169-78. PMID: 16254352
  • Nomura, L, Emu B, R Hoh, P Haalan, SG Deeks, JN Martin, JM McCune, DF Nixon, HT Maecker, “IL-2 production correlates with effector cell differentiation in HIV-specific CD8+ T cells,” AIDS Res Ther. 2006 Jul 21; 3(1): 18. PMID:16859558

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