Nadia Roan, PhD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Address||1450 3rd Street|
San Francisco CA 94158
||2016||NCTRI P50 Pilot Grant Award|
||2015||Center for AIDS Research Basic Science HIV/AIDS grant|
||2015||Hellman Award for Early-Career Faculty|
|Dept. of Urology, UCSF||2012
|The J. David Gladstone Institute, UCSF||2012||Centers for AIDS Research Early Career Award of Excellence in Basic Research|
|The J. David Gladstone Institute, UCSF||2012||Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology Award for Scientific Excellence|
|The J. David Gladstone Institute, UCSF||2008
||2010||A.P. Giannini Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship|
|NIH||2006||Travel Award for the 11th International Symposium on Human Chlamydial Infections|
|Harvard Medical School||2004||Manfred Karnovsky Fellowship Award|
|U.C. Berkeley||2001||Outstanding Scholar Award|
|Harvard Medical School||2001
||2004||National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship|
|U.C. Berkeley||2001||University Medal Finalist|
|U.C. Berkeley||2001||F.H. Carpenter Memorial Price in Biochemistry|
Dr. Roan has had a long-standing interest in understanding the effect of host factors on microbial pathogens of the genital mucosa. Her research as a graduate student led to new insights into the nature of the mucosal immune response directed against the most common sexually transmitted bacterium C. trachomatis. She created and characterized C. trachomatis-specific TCR transgenic and retrogenic mice, and used these mice as tools to understand the inflammatory response to C. trachomatis within the upper female reproductive tract (FRT). During her postdoctoral years, Dr. Roan continued her studies on sexually transmitted microbes, but transitioned to studying HIV-1, a viral pathogen with a devastating effect on global health. She focused on understanding the effect of semen components on HIV-1 infection. She identified and characterized amyloid fibrils made up of peptides derived from the major components of the semen coagulum. These amyloids markedly enhance HIV infection, in part by promoting the attachment of HIV-1 to their cellular targets.
Dr. Roan’s current research interest focuses on two major areas. First, she is investigating the mechanisms by which semen components such as coagulum-derived amyloids promote HIV transmission, and the effects of these components on the effectiveness of currently available anti-HIV microbicides. This understanding will help the development of a new class of “combination microbicides” that contain components targeting both HIV-1 and naturally-occurring factors that promote HIV-1 infectivity. In parallel, a high-thoroughput screen is currently being conducted to identify compounds that inhibit the activity of viral-enhancing factors in semen. Dr. Roan’s second line of research is to understand the physiological functions of semen amyloids and their effects on cells present in the genital mucosa. This understanding will reveal insights into the roles of these semen factors in reproduction, which can lead to novel ways to enhance fertility or to the development of a new class of contraceptives.
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