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HIV Cure Research Infrastructure Study Group (H-CRIS)

HIV Cure Research Infrastructure Study Group (H-CRIS)

Project Lead(s)
Associate Professor
Project Background 

HIV continues to be a major public health problem in Africa. Although taking HIV medications has reduced HIV-associated deaths and improved lifespan, it does cure people of the infection. Patients must take medications daily for the rest of their lives and this comes with side effects, high costs, and the virus becoming resistant to some of the medication.  

It is difficult to cure HIV because after infection some of the virus hides in cell that are not dividing and sleeps there until the HIV medicine is discontinued then they come out and make the person sick. One way to try and cure HIV is therefore to find compounds that can wake the virus up from sleep so that the HIV medicine can work to clear them and destroy the cells that contain them. In this study, we propose to screen several compounds for their ability to wake the sleeping virus up, select the most effective and test them in non-dividing cells taken from HIV patients whose viruses are undetectable.

Objectives/Research Areas 
  1. To characterize a cohort of HIV patients and evaluate their knowledge and attitude towards participation in HIV cure research  
  2. To screen a panel of 150 epigenetic modifying compounds for ability to reactivate HIV from latency in a cell line and primary cell model of latency.  
  3. To evaluate top 10 lead compounds in resting CD4 T cells isolated from patients suppressed on cART for more than 6 months  
  4. To assemble a well-characterized HIV patient’s biobank to serve as a repository of samples for future research and student training. 
  • The H-CRIS team is responsible for other HIV-related research at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.  
  • The team runs both the HIV Genotyping Laboratory and the Phytochemical/Drug Discovery research Lab in the Department of Virology. 
  • Members of the H-CRIS team are also involved in SARS-COV-2/COVID-19 research 
Ongoing Activities  
  • Following a cohort of HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy and Ghana and estimating their viral loads regularly 
  • Evaluating the knowledge and attitude of patients in Ghana towards participation in HIV cure research  
  • Screening a library of chemical compound and herbal extracts for activity to reactivate HIV from latency in vitro 
  • Screening a collection of chemical compounds and herbal extracts for activity to inhibit HIV replication in vitro 

Other research projects 

  • Monitoring antiretroviral resistance in different categories of HIV patients 
  • Investigating the role of immunological markers on HIV infection, latency and disease progression 
  • Assessing the impact of non-communicable diseases on HIV patients in Ghana  
  • Impact of COVID on HIV management in Ghana 
  • Effect of TB co-infection on HIV management in Ghana 
  • Assessing cancers among HIV patients 
  • Drug discovery for SARS-COV-2, HIV and other viruses 
Key Publications  
  1. Abana, C. Z. Y., Lamptey, H., Bonney, E. Y., & Kyei, G. B. (2022). HIV cure strategies: which ones are appropriate for Africa?. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences79(8), 1-16.
  2. Boateng, A. T., Abaidoo-Myles, A., Bonney, E. Y., & Kyei, G. B. (2022). Isoform-Selective Versus Nonselective Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors in HIV Latency Reversal. AIDS research and human retroviruses38(8), 615-621.
  3. Bonney EY, Lamptey H, Aboagye JO, Abana CZ-Y, Boateng AT, Quansah DNK, Obo-Akwa A, Ganu VJ, Puplampu P, Kyei GB, on behalf of the H_CRIS Massive Acton Team. Unwillingness of Patients in Ghana to interrupt antiretroviral therapy for HIV Cure Research.  Journal of Virus Eradication 7 (2021) 100027
  4. Lamptey H, Bonney EY, Adu B and Kyei GB (2021) Are Fc Gamma Receptor Polymorphisms Important in HIV-1 Infection Outcomes and Latent Reservoir Size? Front. Immunol. 12:656894.   doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.656894 


Conference presentation(s)  

  1. Our PI presented an abstract on the systematic review on the contributions to HIV cure research from Africa at the HIV Drug Therapy Conference, Glasgow, UK in October, 2022.
  2. Seven abstracts were presented at the Noguchi Annual Research Meeting in November, 2022 from the students and one of our Postdoc fellow.
  3. An abstract on the preliminary results from the screening of 3 herbal extracts was presented at the INTEREST conference in Kampala, Uganda on May 2022 by our PhD student.
  4. An abstract on preliminary results from Objective 2 was presented at the 5th WACCBIP Research Conference 2021, Accra, Ghana, by the PhD student.
  5. Members of H-CRIS research team presented 6 papers at the African Virology Congress held in Accra in November 2021. These included 2 plenary talks by the PI and one Postdoc fellow, Oral presentations by 2 research assistants and 2 Poster presentations by a Postdoc fellow and the PhD student. 

 More information on the H-CRIS project can be found at: 

  2. Twitter: @H_CRISLab_NMIMR
Research Fellow
Senior Research Fellow
Research Assistant
Chief Research Assistant
Research Assistant
Internal Collaborator(s) 
Clinical Trials Unit, NMIMR
Immunology Department, NMIMR
Clinical Pathology Department, NMIMR
Epidemiology Department, NMIMR
External Collaborator(s) 
Washington University in St. Louis, USA
Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
Ghana Health Service
University of Ghana Health Services
University of Ghana Medical Centre, Accra
Centre for Plant Medicine Research, Mampong
National AIDS/STIs Control Programme, Ghana
West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infection Pathogens (WACCBP), UG
School of Public Health, University of Ghana
University of Ghana Dental School
Ghana Infectious Diseases Centre
National Institutes of Health