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  • HIV molecular biology and pathogenesis

  • Dendritic Cell Biology

  • Lentiviral vector based therapeutic dendritic cell vaccine development


Mammalian cells resist viruses through a collection of mechanisms termed innate or intrinsic immunity.  These differ from the classical adaptive immune response in which B, T helper and cytolytic T cells recognize foreign antigens and clonally expand upon engagement of their antigen receptor.  Intrinsic and innate mechanisms are more generalized. They act in many different cell types; some are constitutively active and others are induced by type-I interferon.  Some are activated by toll-like receptors or related proteins that warn the cell of the presence of a foreign invader by sensing the viral RNA or DNA.  Over the course of evolution, viruses viruses have developed remarkable and diverse ways to escape innate immune responses.  A major focus of our research is to understand how innate immune mechanisms restrict retrovirus replication and how viruses counteract them.  We have focused on two of these factors, APOBEC3 and SAMHD1 and how they are counteracted by viral accessory proteins Vpx, Vpr and Vif.  We are interested to identify new host restriction factors and to understand how cells sense the presence of invading pathogens.  Ultimately, we want to use this understanding to devise therapeutic strategies that mobilize the immune system to target HIV.  We are using the same knowledge to mobilize the immune system to fight cancer.


We are working to understand how the work and how viruses evade their antiviral effects. 

Host Restrictions to Viral infection:  From HIV to Zika.

We have developed a method to generate lentiviral vectors that counteract SAMHD1 allowing for high efficiency transduction of dendritic cells.

Dendritic cell-targeted lentiviral vector development

We have developed methods to genetically program dendritic cells with lentiviral vectors to activate T cells and present endogenously produced peptide antigens express antigens, serving as second generation dendritic cell vaccines. 

Genetic engineering of dendritic cells to fight viruses

Department of Microbiology

Alexandria Center for Life Science - West Tower

430 East 29th Street
Office Rm. 509, Lab Rm. 524
New York, NY 10016


Direct Line: (212) 263-9197
Fax: (646) 501-4645

Prof. Nathaniel R. Landau, PhD


Professor, Department of Microbiology


Member of the Microbial Pathogenesis Program

Full Bio.

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©2019 Landau Lab - Biomedical Research Lab at NYU - New York City