Scientist, director of Texas Biomed AIDS Research Program
HIV infections continue to be a global health threat, and there is still no vaccine or cure available. Dr. Ruprecht’s research is focused on lentiviruses such as HIV, where she develops strategies for treatment and prevention. Her special interest is to develop vaccines against HIV/AIDS, particularly against the world’s most prevalent subtype of HIV (HIV-C) in Sub-Saharan Africa and India. Her research strategy is to:
- Develop vaccines to block HIV at portals of entry: mucosal sites
- Construct multi-component vaccines that enlist as many host defense mechanisms as possible
Dr. Ruprecht was the first to demonstrate the in vivo safety and efficacy of AZT drug treatment in animal models, including prevention of maternal virus transmission. AZT later became the first FDA-approved AIDS drug and the first drug to prevent HIV transmission from an infected woman to her newborn. Dr. Ruprecht has been collaborating with scientists in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa, and is now Director of Texas Biomed’s AIDS research program. She has been studying lentiviruses since the discovery of HIV and has worked with non- human primate (NHP) models for more than 25 years.