Grace M. Aldrovandi, MD CM, is a physician-scientist and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and a Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Aldrovandi is a board-certified pediatric infectious diseases specialist with over 20 years experience in caring for both general pediatric infectious diseases as well as HIV infected children and their families. Dr. Aldrovandi’s research interests include pediatric HIV, the effects of breast milk on child health and infections in immunocompromised children. She has published more than 100 peer review publications in such journals as Nature, Journal of Virology, and the New England Journal of Medicine and multiple book chapters. She has been a member of multiple National Institutes of Health study sections and lectured throughout the world. She also was invited by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve as a member of the AIDS Immunology and Pathogenesis Study Section of the Center for Scientific Review.
As a researcher, Dr. Aldrovandi has chaired national and international studies on HIV pathogenesis within the International Maternal, Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (IMPAACT) and the Adolescent Trials Network (ATN). She was elected Chair of the IMPAACT Laboratory Committee, where she provides scientific leadership and quality assurance/quality control programs for all the laboratories (Virology, Immunology, Pharmacology and Genetics). Dr. Aldrovandi was recently selected to Chair the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Laboratory Center in addition where she performs similar duties. She is the former Chair of the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG) Virology Committee and a member of the phenotypic and genotypic resistance working groups as well as the dried blood spot swat team. She is also a member of the Genotypic Advisory Committee of the NIAID VQA to establish a DAIDS quality assurance program for genotypic analysis of drug resistance mutations. She has considerable scientific expertise in pediatric HIV, basic HIV virology, HIV clinical assays and HIV drug resistance. Dr. Aldrovandi has been awarded the prestigious Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award for her work on breast milk transmission of HIV-1.
More recently, Dr. Aldrovandi has investigated the role of the microbiome in normal infant development, how the microbiome is perturbed by HIV-1, and how the microbiome affects HIV-1 susceptibility at mucosal sites. Her initial interest in the microbiome developed from her studies of breast milk and breast milk transmission of HIV-1. Mother’s actively excrete bacteria and special proteins, human milk oligosaccharides, thought to support the commensal bacterial, to their infants via breast milk. Certain immune cells in the infant gut do not develop until the cells receive signals from the commensal bacteria. It is this complex interplay between mother, infant and microbe that Dr. Aldrovandi is trying to understand through many of her microbiome studies. Additionally, her investigations have expanded to improve the understanding of the microbiome in HIV susceptibility and its role in human disease and treatment response.
Dr. Aldrovandi received two bachelor’s degrees and her medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She completed an internship and residency at McGill, as well as a research fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Link to complete list of publications >
In microbiome and next-generation sequencing studies.
In metabolic and morphologic complications of HIV infection and its therapies.
In clinical and virologic aspects of lactation biology among HIV infected women.
In immunologic correlates of HIV transmission and infant health.
The Importance of Infants’ Exposure to Micro-Organisms - New York Times
How Do Infant Immune Systems Learn to Tolerate Gut Bacteria? - thescientist.com
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