Akkina Lab

Dr. Akkina is a Professor of Virology. The Akkina laboratory focuses on vaccination and antiviral therapy strategies for HIV intervention using rodent models. Ongoing studies involve developing high efficiency gene transfer methods including viral pseudotype and ribozyme expressing vectors. Dr. Akkina’s laboratory is funded by multiple NIH grants and other extramural sources and is unique in developing and utilizing SCID-hu and RAG mice as novel models in which to study HIV and Dengue virus intervention. This work has lead to new models to assess topical mucosally applied drugs to prevent sexually transmitted HIV infection. 

research project

An Ultrasensitive In Vivo Latent HIV Outgrowth Assay Using Humanized Mice

The primary aim of our studies is to exploit this unique in vivo model for serial passage of chimpanzee SIVcpz and sooty mangabey SIVsm viral strains, the progenitors of HIV-1 and HIV-2, respectively, and determine the genetic and phenotypic changes responsible for the emergence of the HIV viral strains.

research project

Modeling the Molecular Evolution of SIV to HIV using Humanized Mice

To develop a complete cure to HIV, it is important that improved and more sensitive tests are developed that can verify if a patient is fully cured and free of the virus. We will use humanized mice that are susceptible to HIV infection to develop the hmVOA test. Results of these studies are expected to be of high importance to the HIV Cure field.


Mimicking SIV chimpanzee viral evolution toward HIV-1 during cross-species transmission.

Schmitt K, Curlin J, Remling-Mulder L, Moriarty R, Goff K, O’Connor S, Stenglein M, Marx P, Akkina R.
J Med Primatol. 2020 Oct;49(5):284-287. doi: 10.1111/jmp.12485. Epub 2020 Aug 17.PMID: 33460210

Cross-Species Transmission and Evolution of SIV Chimpanzee Progenitor Viruses Toward HIV-1 in Humanized Mice.

Schmitt K, Curlin J, Remling-Mulder L, Moriarty R, Goff K, O’Connor S, Stenglein M, Marx P, Akkina R.
Front Microbiol. 2020 Aug 11;11:1889. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.01889. eCollection 2020.PMID: 32849468

Evolution of SIVsm in humanized mice towards HIV-2.

Curlin J, Schmitt K, Remling-Mulder L, Moriarty R, Goff K, O’Connor S, Stenglein M, Marx P, Akkina R.
J Med Primatol. 2020 Oct;49(5):280-283. doi: 10.1111/jmp.12486. Epub 2020 Aug 10.PMID: 32777101

Antiretroviral Penetration and Drug Transporter Concentrations in the Spleens of Three Preclinical Animal Models and Humans.

Devanathan AS, Fallon JK, White NR, Schauer AP, Van Horne B, Blake K, Sykes C, Kovarova M, Adamson L, Remling-Mulder L, Luciw P, Garcia JV, Akkina R, Pirone JR, Smith PC, Kashuba ADM.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 Sep 21;64(10):e01384-20. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01384-20. Print 2020 Sep 21.PMID: 32661005

COVID-19 and SARS Coronavirus 2: Antibodies for the Immediate Rescue and Recovery Phase.

Halstead SB, Akkina R.
Front Immunol. 2020 May 29;11:1196. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01196. eCollection 2020.PMID: 32574267

more publications


Ramesh Akkina, Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator [PI]

Icon of a person on a green background.
Leila Mulder

Research Associate III

Kimberly Schmitt, Ph.D.

Research Scientist I

news and updates view all