Dr. Trautmann obtained her Ph.D. in Immunology at Paris V University in 2003 and performed a post-doctoral training at University of Montreal from 2004 to 2009. She was appointed Assistant then Associate Member at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida from 2010 to 2015, where she developed research projects to better understand the early cellular immune response against HIV infection. Dr. Trautmann joined MHRP in 2015 as Chief of the Cellular Immunology Section, where she is studying the cellular immune responses in acute HIV infection, HIV cure studies and HIV vaccine trials.
The overarching goal of the Cellular Immunology Section is to develop innovative therapeutic strategies aimed at enhancing the cell-mediated control of viral replication and preventing tissue damage in HIV infection. Identifying key mechanisms of cellular immune response efficacy in the context of HIV-1 natural infection or following vaccination will provide clues for therapeutic strategies to control viral replication, reduce pathogenesis and design effective vaccines.
Throughout her scientific career, Dr. Trautmann has been focusing on understanding the molecular mechanisms of antigen-specific T cell responses during viral infections. Her earliest studies demonstrated that TCR affinity is the primary driving force underlying T cell repertoire focusing during chronic antigenic stimulation. After the characterization of antigen-driven dysfunction of HIV-specific CD8 T cells during chronic HIV infection, that led to the important discovery that the regulatory molecule PD-1 was critical in mediating the exhaustion of HIV-specific CD8 T cells in chronic HIV infection, she focused her work on defining the mechanisms of immune dysfunction early in HIV infection and after antiretroviral therapy. To identify key mechanisms of adaptive immune response efficacy after vaccination, she also analyzed the cellular immune responses to the gold standard yellow fever vaccine.
Dr. Trautmann has established in her laboratory different human T cell-based assays to evaluate the priming, metabolic state, survival, proliferation, and effector functions of T cells. These assays allow a deeper understanding of T cell responses in human and dissect the mechanisms of cellular responses in natural HIV infection or after vaccination.
The main research programs underway in the Cellular Immunology Section are:
1. Defining the cellular mechanisms of HIV pathogenesis in the era of ART and testing new therapeutic strategies to prevent pathogenesis,
2. Defining the cellular mechanisms of T cell-mediated control of HIV infection after ART interruption and testing new therapeutic strategies to eradicate HIV,
3. Defining the cellular mechanisms of an effective T cell response induced by vaccination and testing new adjuvants to induce this response.