Javan Kisaka, PhD, is an instructor at the Division of Infectious Disease. He studies molecular basis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), specifically latent HIV reservoir and trying to better understand mechanisms of HIV replication in macrophages and resting CD4+T cells. He was born and raised in Kenya where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry, at the University of Nairobi in 2006. He came to the United States in 2010 as a graduate student to pursue his PhD in Chemistry at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he studied molecular structure and dynamics of Cu(I)- P1B-type ATPases. He joined the HIV research group of Dr. George Kyei at Washington University School of Medicine in 2016 as a postdoctoral research associate.
His interests in HIV research within the field of infectious disease is on viral latency, and reservoir that prevents curing HIV infection despite availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART). His mission is to understand molecular mechanisms of how HIV persists in latently infected cells. Cellular pathways that maintain HIV reservoir are good targets for development of agents that could reverse viral latency and possibly reduce HIV reservoir. His overall goal is to identify and characterize cellular factors that can be exploited to selectively reactivate latent virus with the hope that this will enable elimination of the latent HIV reservoir. His key interest is Infectious diseases and research areas are understanding host mechanisms that regulate HIV latency versus active viral replication, and identification of host transcription factors that are required for HIV reactivation in macrophages.