Christian Brander

Institut de Recerca de la Sida - IrsiCaixa (IrsiCaixa)

Life & Medical Sciences

Christian Brander graduated from the University of Bern in 1994 with a PhD in Immunology studying exogenous antigen re-presentation on HLA class and T-cell hyper-reactivity to Penicillin. He then spent 13 years at Harvard University focusing on cellular immunity to viral infections and the impact that host genetics have on this immune response. He joined ICREA in 2008 with an appointment at IrsiCaixa Research Institute to continue his work on host genetics and the cellular immunity to viral infections, including HIV, HCV and herpesviruses such as KSHV and EBV. He also serves as a curator of the Los Alamos HIV Immunology database and as the scientific director of the HIVACAT program, the Catalan project for the development of effective preventive and therapeutic HIV vaccines, which unites 60 investigators at two HIV research centers in Barcelona, Irsicaixa and Hospital Clinic. He holds an Associate Professor positions at  the University of Vic and Central Catalonia

Research interests

Our work focuses on the cellular immunity to viral infections in the immune compromised host. The main quest is the search for immune correlates of relative control of HIV and how to translate these findings into rational HIV vaccine design. In our work, we have used a series of ex-vivo immune analyses in samples from HIV infected individuals to identify regions of the virus where it is most vulnerable and try to better define the critical characteristics (avidity, cross-reactivity) of an effective T cell response to HIV. These studies are complemented by analyses in highly-exposed yet HIV-uninfected individuals and subjects that are closely followed from time points before HIV infection to chronic stages of newly acquired infection. In all these patient groups, we also apply integrated systems biology analyses that combine “communicom” studies with methylom determination to assess to what level HIV infection induces epigenetic changes in crucial anti-viral host factors

Selected publications

– Noguera-Julian M, Rocafort M, Guillen Y, Rivera J, Casadella M, Nowak P, Hildebrand F, Zeller G, Parera M, Bellido R, Rodriguez C, Carrillo J, Mothe B, Coll J, Bravo I, Estany C, Herrero C, Saz J, Sirera G, Torrela A, Navarro J, Crespo M, Brander C, Negredo E, Blanco J, Guarner F, Luz Calle M, Bork P, Sonnerborg A, Clotet B & Paredes R 2016, ‘Gut Microbiota linked to Sexual Preference and HIV Infection’, Ebiomedicine, 5, 135 – 146.

– Blanco-Heredia J, Lecanda A, Valenzuela-Ponce H, Brander C, Avila-Rios S & Reyes-Teran G 2016, ‘Identification of Immunogenic Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Epitopes Containing Drug Resistance Mutations in Antiretroviral Treatment-Naive HIV-Infected Individuals’, Plos One, 11, 1, e0147571.

– Rosas M, Bellido R, Rocafort M, Puig J, Crespo M, Dorrell L, Paredes R, Brander C & Mothe B 2016, ‘Mechanisms of Abrupt HIV Disease Progression in a Cohort of Previous Elite and Viremic HIV Controllers’, Aids Research And Human Retroviruses, 32, 170 – 170.

– Ternette N, Yang H, Partridge T, Llano A, Cedeño S, Fischer R, Charles PD, Dudek NL, Mothe B, Crespo M, Fischer WM, Korber BT, Nielsen M, Borrow P, Purcell AW, Brander C, Dorrell L, Kessler BM & Hanke T 2016, ‘Defining the HLA class I-associated viral antigen repertoire from HIV-1-infected human cells’, Eur J Immunol., 46, 1, 60 – 69.

– Rallon NI, Mothe B, Lopez Bernaldo DE, Quiros JC, Plana M, Ligos JM, Montoya M, Muñoz MA, Esteban M, Garcia F, Brander C, Benito JM; RISVAC03 Study Group 2016, ‘Balance between activation and regulation of HIV-specific CD8 T cells response after MVA-B therapeutic vaccination’, AIDS, 30, 4, 553 – 562.