Kolin Clark

Program: Molecular Genetics and Genomics

Current advisor: Liang Shan, PhD

Undergraduate university: St. Louis University, 2015

Enrollment year: 2019

Research summary
Determining and overcoming barriers in translating HIV-1 protease mediated activation of the CARD8 inflammasome for an HIV cure.

We recently showed that the inflammasome sensor CARD8 was able to sense intracellular HIV protease activity leading to pyroptosis of HIV-1 infected cells. This premature intracellular protease activity is mediated through the addition of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). My work is on understanding both host and viral factors that may affect the efficacy of CARD8 sensing and thereby an HIV cure. I also study ways in which we can enhance this sensing through sensitization of the CARD8 inflammasome through chemical inhibition of its negative regulator DPP9.

Graduate publications
Wang Q, Gao H, Clark KM, Mugisha CS, Davis K, Tang JP, Harlan GH, DeSelm CJ, Presti RM, Kutluay SB, Shan L.. 2022 CARD8 is an inflammasome sensor for HIV-1 protease activity. Science, 371(6535):eabe1707.