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Myron Elmer Essex, Ph.D., D.V.M.

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Michigan State UniversityD.V.M.1967
University of California, DavisPh.D.1970

Our laboratory conducts research on the virology, immunobiology, and molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 viruses, especially the HIV-1C of southern Africa. The research is oriented to the evolution of new viruses, both circulating recombinant forms and variants that emerge by accumulation of mutations. The studies are usually linked to questions of disease pathogenesis, drug efficacy, and transmission efficiency.

In addition to the laboratory in Boston, we maintain a laboratory in Gaborone, Botswana to support field trials in southern Africa. Through laboratory research and clinical trials, we work to improve chemoprophylaxis to block mother/infant transmission of HIV and also to address increased disease and mortality in HIV uninfected infants born to infected mothers. We also study the development of drug resistance and the possible transmission of drug resistant variants.

Prevention of new HIV infections is a top priority. We are currently conducting a large trial, the Botswana Combination Prevention Project (BCPP), to evaluate the potential of antiretroviral drugs in treatment as prevention (TasP). The BCPP is a cluster randomization study in 30 villages in Botswana with 180,000 people where antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) are given on the basis of high viral load to target the likely transmitters, as well as those who need drugs for their own health. The study also includes a comprehensive analysis of viral genetic sequence relatedness, to help determine whether new incident infections originated in villages where TasP is used.

Another area of research is the possible role of human genetics in increasing or decreasing risk of HIV infection and rate of AIDS progression once infected. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified in association with HIV risk are then analyzed for genetic loci and functional properties to see how the information may be used to develop new drugs or vaccine approaches. Although such studies had been done earlier in Western populations, it seems clear that human genomes may have substantial differences in southern Africa and the HIV-1C virus has substantial differences from HIV-1B, the virus most commonly studied in the U.S. and Europe.

A Comparison of HIV Seroprevalence Rates Between Single and Married Botswana Women
International, 06/22/99 - 08/26/99
Determining the Efficacy of ZDV for Reducing HIV-1 Transmission by Breast-feeding
Full Time/Year Long, 07/01/01 - 05/31/02
A Comparison of HIV Seroprevalence Rates Between Single and Married Botswana Women
International, 06/22/99 - 08/26/99

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. U2GGH001911 (ESSEX, MYRON E) Feb 1, 2016 - Jan 31, 2021
    GH16-002, Botswana: Impact Evaluation of Combination HIV Prevention Interventions
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. D43TW009610 (SHAPIRO, ROGER L) Aug 1, 2013 - May 31, 2023
    Training in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Research in Botswana
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. U01GH000447 (ESSEX, MYRON E) Sep 30, 2011 - Jan 31, 2017
    Impact Evaluation of Combination HIV Prevention Interventions in Botswana
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. RC4AI092715 (ESSEX, MYRON E) Sep 30, 2010 - Sep 29, 2013
    GWAS on Determinants of HIV-1 Subtype C Infection
    Role: Principal Investigator
  5. R01AI083036 (ESSEX, MYRON E) Sep 29, 2009 - Feb 28, 2014
    An HIV Prevention Program for Mochudi, Botswana
    Role: Principal Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Shevchenko AK, Zhernakova DV, Malov SV, Komissarov A, Kolchanova SM, Tamazian G, Antonik A, Cherkasov N, Kliver S, Turenko A, Rotkevich M, Evsyukov I, Vlahov D, Thami PK, Gaseitsiwe S, Novitsky V, Essex M, O'Brien SJ. Genome-wide association study reveals genetic variants associated with HIV-1C infection in a Botswana study population. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 11 23; 118(47). PMID: 34782459; PMCID: PMC8672799.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  2. Wirth KE, Gaolathe T, Pretorius Holme M, Mmalane M, Kadima E, Chakalisa U, Manyake K, Matildah Mbikiwa A, Simon SV, Letlhogile R, Mukokomani K, van Widenfelt E, Moyo S, Bennett K, Leidner J, Powis KM, Lebelonyane R, Alwano MG, Jarvis J, Dryden-Peterson SL, Kgathi C, Moore J, Bachanas P, Raizes E, Abrams W, Block L, Sento B, Novitsky V, El-Halabi S, Marukutira T, Mills LA, Sexton C, Pals S, Shapiro RL, Wang R, Lei Q, DeGruttola V, Makhema J, Essex M, Lockman S, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ. Population uptake of HIV testing, treatment, viral suppression, and male circumcision following a community-based intervention in Botswana (Ya Tsie/BCPP): a cluster-randomised trial. Lancet HIV. 2020 06; 7(6):e422-e433. PMID: 32504575; PMCID: PMC7864245.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
  3. Essex M. The end of AIDS? Lancet Public Health. 2017 05; 2(5):e205-e206. PMID: 29253481.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  4. Lin N, Gonzalez OA, Registre L, Becerril C, Etemad B, Lu H, Wu X, Lockman S, Essex M, Moyo S, Kuritzkes DR, Sagar M. Humoral Immune Pressure Selects for HIV-1 CXC-chemokine Receptor 4-using Variants. EBioMedicine. 2016 Jun; 8:237-247. PMID: 27428434.
    Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  5. Baum MK, Campa A, Page JB, Lai S, Tsalaile L, Martinez SS, Burns P, Williams O, Li Y, van Widenfelt E, Bussmann H, Sikhulele M, Makhema J, Essex M, Marlink R. Recruitment, Follow-Up and Characteristics of HIV Infected Adults who Use Illicit Drugs in Southern Africa. J Drug Abuse. 2015; 1(1). PMID: 26855969; PMCID: PMC4739794.
    Citations: 1     
  6. Dryden-Peterson S, Medhin H, Kebabonye-Pusoentsi M, Seage GR, Suneja G, Kayembe MK, Mmalane M, Rebbeck T, Rider JR, Essex M, Lockman S. Correction: Cancer Incidence following Expansion of HIV Treatment in Botswana. PLoS One. 2015; 10(9):e0138742. PMID: 26376079.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    
  7. Dryden-Peterson S, Medhin H, Kebabonye-Pusoentsi M, Seage GR, Suneja G, Kayembe MK, Mmalane M, Rebbeck T, Rider JR, Essex M, Lockman S. Cancer Incidence following Expansion of HIV Treatment in Botswana. PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0135602. PMID: 26267867.
    Citations: 49     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  8. Novitsky V, Moyo S, Lei Q, DeGruttola V, Essex M. Impact of sampling density on the extent of HIV clustering. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014 Dec; 30(12):1226-35. PMID: 25275430; PMCID: PMC4250956.
    Citations: 40     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  9. Payne R, Muenchhoff M, Mann J, Roberts HE, Matthews P, Adland E, Hempenstall A, Huang KH, Brockman M, Brumme Z, Sinclair M, Miura T, Frater J, Essex M, Shapiro R, Walker BD, Ndung'u T, McLean AR, Carlson JM, Goulder PJ. Impact of HLA-driven HIV adaptation on virulence in populations of high HIV seroprevalence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Dec 16; 111(50):E5393-400. PMID: 25453107; PMCID: PMC4273423.
    Citations: 49     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  10. Baum MK, Campa A, Lai S, Sales Martinez S, Tsalaile L, Burns P, Farahani M, Li Y, van Widenfelt E, Page JB, Bussmann H, Fawzi WW, Moyo S, Makhema J, Thior I, Essex M, Marlink R. Effect of micronutrient supplementation on disease progression in asymptomatic, antiretroviral-naive, HIV-infected adults in Botswana: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2013 Nov 27; 310(20):2154-63. PMID: 24281460; PMCID: PMC4347896.
    Citations: 50     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  11. Lin NH, Becerril C, Giguel F, Novitsky V, Moyo S, Makhema J, Essex M, Lockman S, Kuritzkes DR, Sagar M. Env sequence determinants in CXCR4-using human immunodeficiency virus type-1 subtype C. Virology. 2012 Nov 25; 433(2):296-307. PMID: 22954962.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  12. Lin NH, Smeaton LM, Giguel F, Novitsky V, Moyo S, Mitchell RM, Makhema J, Essex M, Lockman S, Kuritzkes DR. Prevalence and clinical associations of CXCR4-using HIV-1 among treatment-naive subtype C-infected women in Botswana. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 May 01; 57(1):46-50. PMID: 21346588; PMCID: PMC3353541.
    Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  13. Baeten JM, Lingappa J, Beck I, Frenkel LM, Pepper G, Celum C, Wald A, Fife KH, Were E, Mugo N, Sanchez J, Essex M, Makhema J, Kiarie J, Farquhar C, Corey L. Herpes simplex virus type 2 suppressive therapy with acyclovir or valacyclovir does not select for specific HIV-1 resistance in HIV-1/HSV-2 dually infected persons. J Infect Dis. 2011 Jan 01; 203(1):117-21. PMID: 21148504; PMCID: PMC3024584.
    Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  14. Lin NH, Negusse DM, Beroukhim R, Giguel F, Lockman S, Essex M, Kuritzkes DR. The design and validation of a novel phenotypic assay to determine HIV-1 coreceptor usage of clinical isolates. J Virol Methods. 2010 Oct; 169(1):39-46. PMID: 20599562.
    Citations: 18     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  15. Lingappa JR, Baeten JM, Wald A, Hughes JP, Thomas KK, Mujugira A, Mugo N, Bukusi EA, Cohen CR, Katabira E, Ronald A, Kiarie J, Farquhar C, Stewart GJ, Makhema J, Essex M, Were E, Fife KH, de Bruyn G, Gray GE, McIntyre JA, Manongi R, Kapiga S, Coetzee D, Allen S, Inambao M, Kayitenkore K, Karita E, Kanweka W, Delany S, Rees H, Vwalika B, Magaret AS, Wang RS, Kidoguchi L, Barnes L, Ridzon R, Corey L, Celum C. Daily acyclovir for HIV-1 disease progression in people dually infected with HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2010 Mar 06; 375(9717):824-33. PMID: 20153888; PMCID: PMC2877592.
    Citations: 85     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  16. Novitsky V, Wang R, Lagakos S, Essex M. HIV-1 Subtype C Phylodynamics in the Global Epidemic. Viruses. 2010 Jan; 2(1):33-54. PMID: 21994599; PMCID: PMC3185553.
    Citations: 16     Fields:    
  17. O'Neill E, Baugh LL, Novitsky VA, Essex ME, Garcia JV. Intra- and intersubtype alternative Pak2-activating structural motifs of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Nef. J Virol. 2006 Sep; 80(17):8824-9. PMID: 16912329; PMCID: PMC1563850.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  18. Da'Dara AA, Lautsch N, Dudek T, Novitsky V, Lee TH, Essex M, Harn DA. Helminth infection suppresses T-cell immune response to HIV-DNA-based vaccine in mice. Vaccine. 2006 Jun 12; 24(24):5211-9. PMID: 16675073.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  19. Novitsky VA, Gilbert PB, Shea K, McLane MF, Rybak N, Klein I, Thior I, Ndung'u T, Lee TH, Essex ME. Interactive association of proviral load and IFN-gamma-secreting T cell responses in HIV-1C infection. Virology. 2006 May 25; 349(1):142-55. PMID: 16519915.
    Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  20. Sumida SM, Truitt DM, Lemckert AA, Vogels R, Custers JH, Addo MM, Lockman S, Peter T, Peyerl FW, Kishko MG, Jackson SS, Gorgone DA, Lifton MA, Essex M, Walker BD, Goudsmit J, Havenga MJ, Barouch DH. Neutralizing antibodies to adenovirus serotype 5 vaccine vectors are directed primarily against the adenovirus hexon protein. J Immunol. 2005 Jun 01; 174(11):7179-85. PMID: 15905562.
    Citations: 146     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  21. Smith MW, Patterson N, Lautenberger JA, Truelove AL, McDonald GJ, Waliszewska A, Kessing BD, Malasky MJ, Scafe C, Le E, De Jager PL, Mignault AA, Yi Z, De The G, Essex M, Sankale JL, Moore JH, Poku K, Phair JP, Goedert JJ, Vlahov D, Williams SM, Tishkoff SA, Winkler CA, De La Vega FM, Woodage T, Sninsky JJ, Hafler DA, Altshuler D, Gilbert DA, O'Brien SJ, Reich D. A high-density admixture map for disease gene discovery in african americans. Am J Hum Genet. 2004 May; 74(5):1001-13. PMID: 15088270; PMCID: PMC1181963.
    Citations: 263     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  22. Kokkotou EG, Sankale JL, Mani I, Gueye-Ndiaye A, Schwartz D, Essex ME, Mboup S, Kanki PJ. In vitro correlates of HIV-2-mediated HIV-1 protection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Jun 06; 97(12):6797-802. PMID: 10841574; PMCID: PMC18743.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  23. Popper SJ, Sarr AD, Guèye-Ndiaye A, Mboup S, Essex ME, Kanki PJ. Low plasma human immunodeficiency virus type 2 viral load is independent of proviral load: low virus production in vivo. J Virol. 2000 Feb; 74(3):1554-7. PMID: 10627569; PMCID: PMC111493.
    Citations: 53     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  24. Popper SJ, Sarr AD, Travers KU, Guèye-Ndiaye A, Mboup S, Essex ME, Kanki PJ. Lower human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 2 viral load reflects the difference in pathogenicity of HIV-1 and HIV-2. J Infect Dis. 1999 Oct; 180(4):1116-21. PMID: 10479138.
    Citations: 77     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  25. Renjifo B, Blackard JT, Klaskala W, Chaplin BR, Shah P, McLane MF, Barin F, Esparza J, Zelaya JE, Osmanov S, Soto R, Fernandez JA, Baum MK, Essex ME. HIV-1 subtype B in Honduras. Virus Res. 1999 Apr; 60(2):191-7. PMID: 10392727.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  26. Kanki PJ, Hamel DJ, Sankalé JL, Hsieh Cc, Thior I, Barin F, Woodcock SA, Guèye-Ndiaye A, Zhang E, Montano M, Siby T, Marlink R, NDoye I, Essex ME, MBoup S. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtypes differ in disease progression. J Infect Dis. 1999 Jan; 179(1):68-73. PMID: 9841824.
    Citations: 101     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  27. Sankalé JL, Mboup S, Essex ME, Kanki PJ. Genetic characterization of viral quasispecies in blood and cervical secretions of HIV-1- and HIV-2-infected women. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1998 Nov 01; 14(16):1473-81. PMID: 9824325.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  28. Sarr AD, Hamel DJ, Thior I, Kokkotou E, Sankalé JL, Marlink RG, Coll-Seck EM, Essex ME, Siby T, NDoye I, Mboup S, Kanki PJ. HIV-1 and HIV-2 dual infection: lack of HIV-2 provirus correlates with low CD4+ lymphocyte counts. AIDS. 1998 Jan 22; 12(2):131-7. PMID: 9468361.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  29. Sankalé JL, De La Tour RS, Marlink RG, Scheib R, Mboup S, Essex ME, Kanki PJ. Distinct quasi-species in the blood and the brain of an HIV-2-infected individual. Virology. 1996 Dec 15; 226(2):418-23. PMID: 8955063.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  30. Sankalé JL, de la Tour RS, Renjifo B, Siby T, Mboup S, Marlink RG, Essex ME, Kanki PJ. Intrapatient variability of the human immunodeficiency virus type 2 envelope V3 loop. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1995 May; 11(5):617-23. PMID: 7576918.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  31. Abbott RC, NDour-Sarr A, Diouf A, NDoye T, Bâ D, Tall N, MBaye N, Kébé F, Diadhiou F, Essex ME, et al. Risk factors for HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection in pregnant women in Dakar, Senegal. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr (1988). 1994 Jul; 7(7):711-7. PMID: 8207649.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  32. Archibald DW, Zon LI, Groopman JE, Allan JS, McLane MF, Essex ME. Salivary antibodies as a means of detecting human T cell lymphotropic virus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus infection. J Clin Microbiol. 1986 Nov; 24(5):873-5. PMID: 3021816; PMCID: PMC269050.
    Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.