FHS Seminar Series - Novel Modulators of HIV Latency from Chemical Libraries, Natural Products, and Traditional Medicines

by Dr. Ian Tietjen, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU

November 16, 2017

Event Type

Seminar Series


November 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Blusson Hall, Room 9920


Although combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has significantly reduced HIV morbidity and mortality worldwide, virus persists within cellular reservoirs which continue to produce infectious virus. As a result, cART must be maintained for life. To achieve durable, cART-free HIV remission (or an HIV cure), two opposing therapeutic strategies are proposed: reservoir elimination and reservoir containment. The former uses latency reversal agents (LRAs) to “activate” HIV reservoirs, which are then eliminated naturally or therapeutically; while the latter involves pro-latency agents (PLAs) that permanently maintain HIV reservoirs in a dormant state. Here I will describe our work to discover and characterize novel LRAs and PLAs. First, I will discuss initial results from a high-throughput screen of ~100,000 compounds to find new regulators of the HIV tat transactivator protein. I will also present a series of novel LRA and PLAs isolated from British Columbia sponges and African medicinal plants. Finally, I will discuss our work to document and characterize medicinal plants traditionally used in Southern Africa to supplement conventional HIV therapies.


Dr. Ian Tietjen joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU in July 2017. He previously worked as a postdoc with Dr. Charles Rice at Rockefeller University and as a Research Associate with Drs. Zabrina Brumme and Mark Brockman at FHS and David Fedida at UBC. Prior to this, Dr. Tietjen was a Senior Scientist at Cardiome Pharma Corp. and Xenon Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Tietjen’s current research focuses on mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and antiviral discovery, particularly in relation to HIV, yellow fever, and other viruses that disproportionately affect those in low and middle income countries.


* This Seminar Series is open to the SFU Research Community.  

* This seminar was recorded and can be viewed here by the FHS Research Community

*  A light lunch will be available at this seminar.  

* The FHS Research Seminar Series is an Accredited Small Group Learning by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.