Dr. Hendrik Streeck is Faculty Member of the Ragon Institute, Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Immunologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his medical training at Charite University, Berlin, Germany in 2006 and received his PhD from Friedrich-Wilhelm University, Bonn, Germany in 2007. He did his postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Marcus Altfeld on HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses in acute infection and characterized changes in CD8+ T cell functionality and immunodominance patterns in the context of antigen load and viral escape. He was awarded the biennale HIV AIDS Award from the German-Austrian AIDS Society in 2009 for outstanding achievements in the field of HIV immunology and was subsequently recruited as Faculty at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard.
Dr. Streeck’s laboratory focuses on the role and function of HIV-specific CD4 T cells in the context of spontaneously controlled HIV-1 infection and how these responses may be applied to HIV vaccine induced protection. CD4+ T cells are critical for the induction of long-lived CD8+ T cell and B cell memory, but are preferentially targeted and depleted by HIV. A significant dilemma in HIV vaccine design research is therefore how to provide these helper signals without enhancing the risk of HIV transmission. To address this, the Streeck laboratory investigates direct and indirect mechanisms of HIV-specific CD4 T cell antiviral activity, as well as examines basic questions relating to CD4 T cells and how they interact with the other cell types of the human immune system. Recent work from the laboratory has shown an important role for cytolytic HIV-specific CD4+ T cell responses in the early control of viral replication as well as performed the first characterization of HIV-specific T follicular helper cells in the lymph nodes of HIV infected patients.