Dr. Zabrina Brumme is an Associate Scientist in the Laboratory Program at the BC-CfE and an Assistant Professor, Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases. She received her Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine in 2006 from the University of British Columbia. She then went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard University (formerly known as the Partners AIDS Research Center), in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dr. Brumme’s current research integrates molecular biology, epidemiology and computational approaches to study HIV evolution in response to selection pressures imposed by the human cellular immune response. One of the greatest challenges to HIV vaccine design is the virus’ capacity to evade immune recognition through rapid mutation, a process called “immune escape”. Through the analysis of population-based cohorts of HIV-infected individuals in Canada and worldwide, Dr. Brumme has helped to create “maps” of the HIV genome that systematically identify specific sites and pathways of immune escape in viral proteins.
Dr. Brumme is also interested in studying how human immune selection pressures have shaped HIV evolution over the course of the epidemic, and the implications of this on vaccine design. Most recently, Dr. Brumme’s work has focused on assessing the consequences of immune escape mutations to HIV replication and viral protein function.
Dr. Brumme currently holds a CIHR New Investigator award.