Daniel E. Kaufmann, MD is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal and the head of the Immunopathology Research Axis at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM). He is also a senior attending physician in infectious disease at the University of Montreal Hospital (CHUM).
D Kaufmann is a physician scientist whose laboratory primarily focuses on the role of CD4 T cells to combat or prevent HIV infection. The three major areas of research are: i) the understanding of effective CD4 T cell help in anti-HIV immunity; ii) the causes of T cell impairment in HIV infection; and iii) the links between differentiation and regulation of CD4 T cells and their role as viral reservoirs. The lab is interested in mechanisms that control the functional plasticity of CD4 T cells in and regulate the impairment of Thelper responses, with the ultimate goal of facilitating development of therapeutic strategies to improve immune function. The Kaufmann lab has made major contributions to the understanding of T cell exhaustion in HIV infection, in particular on the roles played by the PD-1, CTLA-4 and IL-10. They have delineated differences in mechanisms of immune impairment between CD4 and CD8 T cells. More recently, the team has established new flow cytometric RNA fluorescent in situ hybridization (RNA-FISH) assays to detect specific genes in peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues as well as to characterize viral reservoirs at the single-cell level.
Dr. Kaufmann is principal investigator of the CHAVI-ID. Antibody development and affinity maturation is critically dependent on CD4 T cell responses. Our laboratory has developed a wide array of techniques, including innovative approaches to characterize CD4 T cell gene expression and function. These tools have been applied to vaccine- and infection-induced responses to detect specific genes in peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues of both biopsies from human volunteers and samples from non-human primates (NHPs). In addition identified genes can be subsequently validated at the protein levels by functional assays. We are further developing these tools and applying them to identify correlates of effective CD4 T cell help for elicitation of humoral responses.