advancing therapeutic solutions in virology

The way out of a pandemic is science.

Translational research contributes to and borrows from laboratory, bedside, and community medicine to develop new approaches to treating and curing disease.

The Davey Lab at UC San Diego applies translational research techniques to the study of viruses. Since the early 2000s, the lab has focused on studying HIV transmission, superinfection, co-infection, and the latent reservoir. Underlying all HIV research within the Davey Lab is the ongoing search for a preventative vaccine and a permanent cure.

In late 2019, Davey Lab turned its attention to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Nearly 20 years of translational virology research experience is now being applied to this new global threat. Currently laboratory members are contributing to more than a dozen basic science and clinical research projects.

Davey Smith, MD, MAS

Chief, division of infectious diseases and global public health
Vice Chair of Faculty, Department of Medicine
Co-Director, San Diego Center for AIDS Research
Florence Seeley Riford Chair in AIDS Research
University of california san diego

Our accomplishments



Analyzed social networks and viral genetics to determine how HIV spreads through a community and who is most at-risk for infection


Discovered that infection with multiple strains of HIV increases the chance of drug-resistance and lowers the chance for successful long-term antiretroviral treatment

molecular epidemiology

Determined molecular mechanism of viral resistance to antiretroviral medication as it is transmitted through a population

virus in the genital tract

Identified reservoirs of HIV infection as well as interactions between HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in the male genital tract


contact tracing

Assessing how COVID-19 is transmitted on the cellular and molecular levels to better inform contact tracing methodology

clinical trials

Leading an NIH-sponsored study of hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin to determine safety and efficacy in treating COVID-19

immune response

Studying how SARS-COV-2-specific immune cells change and adapt in response to COVID-19 infection


Measuring antibodies to determine which antibodies most accurately predict the presence of SARS-CoV-2

support our research

Now is the time. Humanity is in the midst of a fight for countless lives as we seek ways to prevent and treat two pandemics. Thanks to advancements in technology, knowledge, and capability, we are superbly equipped to meet these challenges.

You have an opportunity to play a key role in finding solutions for COVID-19 and HIV by supporting these important efforts. By partnering with us, you can help save lives.

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