My research interests are related to translational work in hepatitis C virus with an emphasis on infection in special populations and in the immunopathogenesis of disease. I currently have three primary areas of focus:
- HCV, especially coinfection with HIV-1, post-transplantation, and during pregnancy
- Immunology of HCV. Current funded projects include the immunology of HCV, in collaboration with Georg Lauer of the Gastrointestinal Unit , Galit Alter and Todd Allen of the Ragon Institute. Specific interests are in cell-mediated immunity, genetic associations with outcome, and HCV viral evolution. We are applying novel chip-based technologies to unravel the genetic basis of spontaneous clearance, and translating these findings via mechanistic studies.
- Acute HCV in the community and the prisons. In Massachusetts, an epidemic of HCV in young persons has occurred over the past decade and is ongoing. We are studying acute HCV in the Massachusetts State Prisons in collaboration with Barbara McGovern (Lemuel Shattuck Hospital) and University of Massachusetts Correctional Healthcare. We are enrolling persons with acute HCV from the prisons and the community, including both injection drug users and HIV+ men who have sex with men (MSM). I co-lead the Boston Acute HCV Study: Transmission, Immunity, and Outcome Network (BAHSTION), and have joined an international collaboration (termed the INC3) of incident HCV in injection drug users.
Selected recent references:
- Kim AY, Schulze zur Wiesch J*, Kuntzen T, Timm J, Kaufmann DE, Duncan JE, Jones AM, Wurcel AG, Davis BT, Gandhi RT, Robbins GK, Allen TM, Chung RT, Lauer GM, Walker BD. Impaired HCV-specific T cell responses and recurrent HCV in HIV coinfection. PLoS Medicine. 2006;3(12):e492.
- Kim AY, Lauer GM, Ouchi K, Addo MM, Lucas M, Schulze Zur Wiesch J, Timm J, Boczanowski M, Duncan JE, Wurcel AG, Casson D, Chung RT, Draenert R, Klenerman P, Walker BD. The magnitude and breadth of hepatitis C virus-specific CD8+ T cells depend on absolute CD4+ T cell count in individuals coinfected with HIV-1. Blood. 2005;105(3):1170-1178
- Mcgovern BH, Birch CE, Bowen MJ, Reyor LL, Nagami EH, Chung RT, Kim AY. Improving the diagnosis of acute hepatitis C infection using expanded viral load criteria. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2009;49(7):1051-60 .
- Chen TY, Ding EL, Seage GR, Kim AY. Meta-analysis: increased mortality associated with HCV in HIV-infected persons is not related to HIV disease progression. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2009;49(10):1605-15.
- Kim AY, Kuntzen T, Timm J, Nolan BE, Baca MA, Reyor LL, Berical AC, Feller AJ, Johnson KL, Schulze zur Wiesch J, Robbins GK, Chung RT, Walker BD, Carrington M, Allen TM, Lauer GM. Spontaneous control of HCV is associated with the expression of HLA-B*57 and preservation of targeted epitopes. Gastroenterology 2011; 140(2):686-696.
- Kim AY, Nagami EH, Birch CE, Bowen MJ, Lauer GM, McGovern BH. A simple strategy to identify acute HCV infection among newly incarcerated injection drug users. Hepatology 2013;57(3):944-52.