Professor, Department of Molecular Cell Biology
Our research is in protein biochemistry, with a focus on inhibiting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV disproportionately affects poor people and people of color both in the US and around the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women are particularly at risk, and do not have access to advanced medical treatments and generally do not use the daily pill approved by the FDA to prevent HIV. This has led us to develop an insertable silk device that can be used by young people to easily and discreetly prevent HIV. We are currently determining if young adults in the US (in Merced and Oakland) would like this device. We also are working on the mechanism and improvement of antiviral proteins.