Mullins Molecular Retrovirology Lab

  • Department of Microbiology
  • School of Medicine
  • University of Washington
University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research


We use a variety of techniques to understand the implications of HIV's extraordinary genetic diversity for the pathogenesis of AIDS, and apply this information to the development of more effective therapies and vaccines. Current intensive research topics include:

Ancestral Sequence Approach

Rolland M, Jensen MA, Nickle DC, Yan J, Learn GH, Heath L, Weiner D, Mullins JI (2007). Reconstruction and function of ancestral center-of-tree human immunodeficiency virus type 1 proteins. Journal of virology, 81(16), 8507-14. (pubmed)

Doria-Rose NA, Learn GH, Rodrigo AG, Nickle DC, Li F, Mahalanabis M, Hensel MT, McLaughlin S, Edmonson PF, Montefiori D, Barnett SW, Haigwood NL, Mullins JI (2005). Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtype B ancestral envelope protein is functional and elicits neutralizing antibodies in rabbits similar to those elicited by a circulating subtype B envelope. Journal of virology, 79(17), 11214-24. (pubmed)

Nickle DC, Jensen MA, Gottlieb GS, Shriner D, Learn GH, Rodrigo AG, Mullins JI (2003). Consensus and ancestral state HIV vaccines. Science (New York, N.Y.), 299(5612), 1515-8; author reply 1515-8. (pubmed)

Conserved Elements Approach

Kulkarni V, Rosati M, Valentin A, Ganneru B, Singh AK, Yan J, Rolland M, Alicea C, Beach RK, Zhang GM, Le Gall S, Broderick KE, Sardesai NY, Heckerman D, Mothe B, Brander C, Weiner DB, Mullins JI, Pavlakis GN, Felber BK (2013). HIV-1 p24(gag) derived conserved element DNA vaccine increases the breadth of immune response in mice. PloS one, 8(3), e60245. (pubmed) (doi)

Rolland M, Manocheewa S, Swain JV, Lanxon-Cookson EC, Kim M, Westfall DH, Larsen BB, Gilbert PB, Mullins JI (2013). HIV-1 conserved-element vaccines: relationship between sequence conservation and replicative capacity. Journal of virology, 87(10), 5461-7. (pubmed) (doi)

Rolland M, Heckerman D, Deng W, Rousseau CM, Coovadia H, Bishop K, Goulder PJ, Walker BD, Brander C, Mullins JI (2008). Broad and Gag-biased HIV-1 epitope repertoires are associated with lower viral loads. PloS one, 3(1), e1424. (pubmed) (doi)

Rolland M, Nickle DC, Mullins JI (2007). HIV-1 group M conserved elements vaccine. PLoS pathogens, 3(11), e157. (pubmed)

Rolland M, Nickle DC, Deng W, Frahm N, Brander C, Learn GH, Heckerman D, Jojic N, Jojic V, Walker BD, Mullins JI (2007). Recognition of HIV-1 peptides by host CTL is related to HIV-1 similarity to human proteins. PloS one, 2(9), e823. (pubmed)

Variation-Inclusive Approach

Nickle DC, Jojic N, Heckerman D, Jojic V, Kirovski D, Rolland M, Kosakovsky Pond S, Mullins JI (2008). Comparison of immunogen designs that optimize peptide coverage: reply to Fischer et al. PLoS computational biology, 4(1), e25. (pubmed) (doi)

Nickle DC, Rolland M, Jensen MA, Pond SL, Deng W, Seligman M, Heckerman D, Mullins JI, Jojic N (2007). Coping with viral diversity in HIV vaccine design. PLoS computational biology, 3(4), e75. (pubmed)