The Botswana–Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) is a collaborative research and training initiative between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Initiative. At the heart of BHP’s mission is a collaborative approach to conducting clinical and laboratory-based research, with an emphasis on training and building local capacity. The laboratory conducts research on the virology, immunobiology, and molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 viruses. The research is oriented to the evolution of new viruses, both circulating recombinant forms and variants that emerge by accumulation of mutations. The studies are usually linked to questions of prevention, disease pathogenesis, drug efficacy, and transmission efficiency. These topics are addressed with particular emphasis on the HIV-1C epidemic in southern Africa, and tied to our clinical studies in Botswana.
The specific project will be chosen from our current research studies described above jointly with interns through discussion of their backgrounds and interests.
Interns would likely learn a novel technique of long-range HIV genotyping and next-generation sequencing. Wet lab procedures could include near full-length HIV amplification and comprehensive troubleshooting related to a low proviral copy number in amplification template; a bioinformatics pipeline for processing, quality control, and consensus sequence assembly using raw reads of next-generation sequencing by the Illumina HiSeq and NextSeq platforms. If interested, interns could also learn the basics of phylogenetics and HIV drug-resistance analysis.
Applicants for the lab project should have previous wet lab research experience, and preference will be given to rising juniors and seniors who have taken courses that include wet lab experience or have a previous research experience in a wet lab. Applicants for the clinical projects must have significant clinical experience. Interns should have taken Life Sciences 1a or equivalent.
On a scale from 0 (very independent) to 10 (very supervised), this internship will be about a 8.5.
Wet lab and clinical settings
This internship is 10 weeks.