Serena Spudich, MD, MA

Professor of Neurology; Division Chief, Neurological Infections & Global Neurology; Co-director, Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research

Research Departments & Organizations


Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research

Infectious Diseases

Yale Institute for Global Health

Yale Stem Cell Center

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Antiviral Agents; Biomarkers, Pharmacological; Cerebrospinal Fluid; Dementia; HIV; Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Nervous System; Neurology

Research Summary

Our group’s clinical and translational research focuses on characterization of the central nervous system in HIV-infected patients in an effort to understand and treat the processes underlying damage to the nervous system by HIV, as well as establishment and reduction of potential central nervous system reservoirs for infection.

Our current program employs a multidisciplinary approach to patient-oriented research in neuro-HIV, through active collaborations with researchers in immunology, radiology, neuropsychology, virology, and molecular biomarkers. We apply these methods to novel studies of patients that may inform about neuroprotection and neuropathogenesis in HIV, including individuals with acute or early HIV infection, patients at different stages of treatment with antiretroviral therapy, and individuals with cerebrospinal fluid HIV escape (detected HIV in the central nervous system despite effective treatment in the blood). We are also performing clinical studies aimed to examine and/or reduce early establishment of central nervous system reservoirs for HIV infection.

Our studies focus on subjects recruited in urban centers in the US and international sites including Bangkok, Thailand. Broader involvement with the design and implementation of multicenter studies relevant to neuro-HIV is facilitated by Dr. Spudich’s position within the international AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), facilitated by an affiliation with the Cornell AIDS Clinical Trials Unit.

Specialized Terms: HIV; AIDS; Central nervous system inflammation; Viral compartmentalization; Acute infection; HIV reservoirs; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Diffusion tensor imaging; Neural markers; Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers

Clinical Trials

Conditions Study Title
HIV/AIDS Mechanisms of HIV latency
HIV/AIDS, Immune System, Infectious Diseases Establish and Characterize an Acute HIV Infection Cohort in a High Risk Population


  • Investigations in CNS HIV Reservoirs and HIV Cure Bangkok, Thailand (2013)

    A range of project in collaboration with investigators at SEARCH Thailand as well as from multiple US and international institutions to assess potential reservoirs for HIV in the nervous system as well as the impact of therapeutic interventions aimed to reduce HIV in the brain.

  • Effects of Acute HIV Infection in the Central Nervous System Bangkok, Thailand (2011)

    Clinical and translational research investigating the nervous system during acute HIV infection, and the impact of early antiretroviral therapy.

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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