Victor Garcia is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology. He has directed a large research laboratory at UNC (since 2009) and at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (1999-2009). He is a leader in research on the in vivo analysis of cancer, HIV transmission and prevention using novel humanized animal models developed in his laboratory. He published a landmark paper describing the development of the BLT humanized mouse model and demonstrating its ability to mount specific adaptive and innate immune responses to EBV. BLT mice have been used to address key questions regarding a variety of aspects of the human immune response to human specific cancer-causing pathogens, to study prevention and to study HIV latency and eradication. He currently uses GF NOD/SCID/IL-2Rgamma chain deficient (NSG) mice transplanted with human liver (or stem cells) and thymus tissue to create gnotobiotic “immunologically humanized” mice to explore influences of microbiota on HIV infection and gut-brain inflammatory interactions.
Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission: Dr. Garcia-Martinez uses immunologically humanized mice to understand the influence of microbes on HIV infection and gut brain inflammation interactions.
CGIBD Focus Area(s): Microbiome