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UW Pediatrics

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Heather B Jaspan, MD, PhD

Infectious Disease
Associated with Fellowship(s)
Infectious Disease Fellowship
Professional Bio

The Jaspan lab focusses on prevention of HIV infections in infants and adolescents, including the study of immune correlates of protection and vaccine responses in children. Since pediatric HIV is primarily acquired across mucosal surfaces such as the gut and the genital tract, Dr. Jaspan has projects on mucosal immunity and its interaction with the microbiome at these surfaces. Further projects study factors influencing vaccine immunity in infants born to HIV-infected mothers, since these infants would be targets for an HIV vaccine. These include studies on the relationship between the gut microbiome and vaccine responses, and the effect of potential suppressor or regulatory cells. She also has three ongoing studies assessing the effects of hormonal contraceptives and intravaginal practices on mucosal immunity and microbiota. Her clinical site is in Cape Town, South Africa, where there is high HIV prevalence, yet strong research infrastructure, and where she has many outstanding collaborators.