Gaurav D. Gaiha

Gaurav D. Gaiha, MD, DPhil

Principal Investigator

Group Leader

Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard

Assistant Professor

Harvard School of Medicine


(857) 268-7016

400 Tech Square, Room 862

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Boston Globe recognizes lab's efforts towards a universal sabecovirus vaccine

T cells, Vaccines, & Immune Control

Research Overview

The overarching goal of the Gaiha Lab is to translate insights from successful human T cell responses into effective T cell-based vaccines for infectious disease and cancer.

The Gaiha Lab is working to establish a T cell vaccine platform that incorporates target epitope identification, HLA-epitope stability assessments, T cell immunogen design, viral vector production, and iterative testing in small animal models. We work with a structure-based network analysis technology, which integrates network theory with protein structure data to define topologically important and mutationally constrained regions of viral proteins. We utilized this approach to identify key targets of CD8+ T cells in individuals who spontaneously control HIV (Gaiha et al., Science 2019) and, more recently, identify mutation-resistant epitopes in SARS-CoV-2 (Nathan, Rossin, et al., 2021). The overarching goal is to integrate these technologies towards developing prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for HIV and SARS-CoV-2 and ultimately for broad translation to infectious diseases and cancer.  

Recognition and Media

Dr. Gaiha has been awarded the NIAID New Innovators DP2 Award and has been recognized as a Gilead HIV Research Scholar. He has also been named a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists and has been awarded the CHAVD (NIH) and CAVD (Gates Foundation) New Investigator Awards.


Dr. Gaiha received his D.Phil in Biochemistry from Oxford University as a Clarendon Scholar and his MD magna cum laude from the Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program at Harvard Medical School and MIT. He trained in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at MGH before completing his post-doctoral research fellowship at the Ragon Institute.

Selected Publications

The Emerging Role for CTL Epitope Specificity in HIV Cure Efforts

Kaseke C, Tano-Menka R, Senjobe F, Gaiha GD

J Infect Dis, 223(12), 2021 PubMed Read on Journal Site

T cell reactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is preserved in most but not all individuals

Naranbhai V, Nathan A, Kaseke C, Berrios C, Khatri A, Choi S, Getz MA, Tano-Menka R, Ofoman O, Gayton A, Senjobe F, Zhao Z, St Denis KJ, Lam EC, Carrington M, Garcia-Beltran WF, Balazs AB, Walker BD, Iafrate AJ, Gaiha GD

Cell, 185(6), 2022 PubMed Read on Journal Site

Structure-guided T cell vaccine design for SARS-CoV-2 variants and sarbecoviruses

Nathan A, Rossin EJ, Kaseke C, Park RJ, Khatri A, Koundakjian D, Urbach JM, Singh NK, Bashirova A, Tano-Menka R, Senjobe F, Waring MT, Piechocka-Trocha A, Garcia-Beltran WF, Iafrate AJ, Naranbhai V, Carrington M, Walker BD, Gaiha GD

Cell, 184(17), 2021 PubMed Read on Journal Site

HLA class-I-peptide stability mediates CD8+ T cell immunodominance hierarchies and facilitates HLA-associated immune control of HIV

Kaseke C, Park RJ, Singh NK, Koundakjian D, Bashirova A, Garcia Beltran WF, Takou Mbah OC, Ma J, Senjobe F, Urbach JM, Nathan A, Rossin EJ, Tano-Menka R, Khatri A, Piechocka-Trocha A, Waring MT, Birnbaum ME, Baker BM, Carrington M, Walker BD, Gaiha GD

Cell Rep. 36(2), 2021 PubMed Read on Journal Site

Structural topology defines protective CD8+ T cell epitopes in the HIV proteome

Gaiha GD, Rossin EJ, Urbach J, Landeros C, Collins DR, Nwonu C, Muzhingi I, Anahtar MN, Waring OM, Piechocka-Trocha A, Waring M, Worrall DP, Ghebremichael MS, Newman RM, Power KA, Allen TM, Chodosh J, Walker BD

Science, 2019. 364, 480-484 PubMed Read on Journal Site

Lab Team

Shaown Bhattacharyya

Research Technician I

Charlie Crain

Research Technician I

Alton Gayton

Graduate Student

Matt Getz

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ben Goldberg

Research Technician II

Anusha Nathan

Graduate Student

Alessandra Soares Schanoski

Staff Scientist

Fernando Senjobe

Graduate Student

Devin Spiers

Veterinary Technologist

Anna Traunbauer

Graduate Student

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