Basic Science Research
The basic science laboratories of the Division of Neuro-Immunology is
comprised of the
Igor Koralnik Laboratory
Sabrina Tan Laboratory
at BIDMC, and the
Omar Siddiqi Laboratory
at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. The focus of this
basic science research in the Koralnik Laboratory is to understand the
immunopathogenesis of JC virus in Progressive Multifocal
Leukoencephalopathy (PML). An integrated virological, immunological,
clinical and radiological approach is applied to study the viral and host
factors associated with disease induction, pathogenesis and clinical
Additionally, studies are being conducted into determinants of JC virus
latency and spread, as well as components of the immune response that are
instrumental in containing JC virus in immunocompetent individuals.
PCR-based technology allows investigation of molecular biology underlying
the pathogenic attributes of JC virus and its subsequent reactivation.
Characterization of surrogate immunological markers of survival in PML has
been performed, and currently, knowledge is being harnessed for
translational development of immunotherapies for this disease.
Finally, novel clinical entities, distinct from PML, and caused by JC virus
deletion-mutants with selective tropism for neuronal populations have been
characterized. The laboratory includes a dynamic group of Harvard Medical
School faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, research
assistants and clinical coordinators. If you are interested to know more
about open positions at the basic science laboratory of the Division of
Neuro-Immunology, please email Dr. Igor Koralnik, Chief of Division.
Clinical research studies are performed at the Multiple Sclerosis Center
at BIDMC, and at our
Global Neurology Center
at the University teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.
The HIV/Neurology Center at BIDMC offers comprehensive care for acute and
chronic neurological problems in people with HIV infection or AIDS. In
conjunction with the basic research laboratory of the Division of
Neuro-Immunology, clinical studies sponsored by the National Institutes of
Health (NIH) are conducted. Their goal is to characterize the
immunological, virological and radiological prognostic factors of disease
evolution. HIV-positive or HIV-negative immunosuppressed individuals will
qualify for these studies if they have neurological symptoms and brain
lesions suggestive of PML, or if they have a positive brain biopsy or
detectable JCV DNA in their cerebrospinal fluid.
The Multiple Sclerosis Center at BIDMC offers comprehensive care for
patients with Multiple Sclerosis and a variety of other auto-immune
diseases of the nervous system. Studies sponsored by the NIH, the National
MS Society or Pharmacological companies are conducted. These include MRI
and advanced neuroimaging studies, disease pathogenesis and treatment
studies. Visit the Clinical Trials and Research page to learn more about clinical research at the Multiple Sclerosis Center.
The Global Neurology Center at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in
Lusaka, Zambia provides comprehensive neurological care for Zambian
patients. Studies sponsored by the NIH and private foundations are
conducted. These include studies of the pathogenesis of Tuberculous
Meningitis, molecular diagnostic of opportunistic infections o the nervous
system, and new onset seizures in Zambian patients. Visit the Global Neurology Center page to learn more about clinical research.
Multiple Sclerosis Clinic