Cell death in HIV pathogenesis and therapy
Dr. Finkel was the first to show that the HIV surface protein, gp120, primes T-cells for suicide (Banda NK, Bernier J, Kurahara DK, et al. Crosslinking CD4 by human immunodeficiency virus gp120 primes T cells for activation-induced apoptosis. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 1992;176:1099-1106).
In studies of in vivo (in living organisms) infection, her team showed that apoptosis (the normally occurring death of cells) occurs predominantly in bystander cells and only rarely in productively infected cells (Finkel TH, Tudor-Williams G, Banda NK, et al.
Apoptosis occurs predominantly in bystander cells and not in productively infected cells of HIV- and SIV-infected lymph nodes. Nature Medicine. 1995;1:129-134), solidifying the concept of “bystander death” (death of nearby cells) in AIDS.