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UC San Diego Virology Specialty Laboratory

Sara Gianella Weibel, MD

Virology Specialty Lab Co-Director

Sara Gianella Weibel, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego. Dr. Gianella graduated from the University of Zurich (Switzerland). After her residency in Internal Medicine in Switzerland, she began her fellowship in the Department of Infectious Disease and Hospital Epidemiology of the University Hospital of Zurich in 2007. She moved to UC San Diego in 2009 to work as a postdoctoral fellow with Drs. Douglas Richman and Davey Smith, and joined the faculty of the Department of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health) in 2013. Currently she works both at the UC San Diego Antiviral Research Center, and in her laboratory on the UC San Diego campus, where she oversees bench research. She is the director of the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Translational Virology Core and director of the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) Virology Specialty Laboratory, where she serves as part of several clinical trial protocol teams. She is also Co-directing the NeuroVirology and Biology Core at the HIV Neuro Behavioral Research Center as well as the HOPE T32 Training program. Dr. Gianella has a broad background in clinical and translational virology, molecular biology and immunology (some might refer to her as a "jack of all trades”). She is interested in applying the latest laboratory techniques guided by rigorous scientific methods to address some of the most pressing problems in infectious diseases. Her research ranges from investigating HIV persistence in various tissues and anatomical compartments across the human body (she is heavily involved in the Last Gift program), the transmission dynamics of HIV in the genital tract and its interactions with co-infecting viruses, especially but not limited to Cytomegalovirus, and investigating clinical complications related to persistent immune activation. Her team continuously strive to enhance the diversity of the biomedical workforce to improve educational experiences, fostering scientific discovery and innovation, enhancing the benefit of research on health disparate populations, and increasing public trust across the community. Dr. Gianella has experience and is passionate about conducting studies involving women, transgender persons, and other under-represented populations. More information about Dr. Gianella Weibel is available here:

Antoine Chaillon, MD, PhD

Virology Specialty Lab Co-Director

Antoine Chaillon, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine at the University of California San Diego (CSD). He received his Medical Degree with a focus in Cellular and Molecular Infectiology, Vaccinology and a master’s degree in Infectious Diseases, Microbiology with a focus on Virology in 2012, from Tours Medical University, France. His main research focus gravitates around the study of HIV-1 at different levels. Current research ranges from investigating HIV transmission dynamics, to characterizing the establishment and dynamics of the HIV reservoir in blood and other anatomic compartments, and investigating clinical complications related to persistent immune activation. He has expertise in bioinformatics to analyze deep sequencing and to characterize HIV reservoirs, viral evolution during and after HIV transmission and viral dynamics between anatomic compartments. As Virologist with expertise in the dynamics of epidemics, he is consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO). He is currently co-director of the CFAR Translational Virology Core at UCSD, San Diego.

Associate Directors

Laboratory Info

Lab Address

Stein Clinical Research Building
9500 Gilman Drive, MC
LaJolla, CA 92093 (Contact;Sara Gianella, MD)

Areas of Interest

Translational Virology,HIV Persistence, proviral sequencing, biomarkers, co-infections