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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.

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