Bruce D. Walker

Bruce D. Walker, MD

Principal Investigator


Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard


Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR)


Howard Hughes Medical Institute


(857) 268-7073

400TS 870

HIV, virus-specific T cells, elite controllers

Research Overview

The Walker Laboratory focuses on learning from patients to determine how the body fights back against viral infection using HIV as a highly relevant example, trying to uncover mechanisms by which it succeeds and, importantly, why it usually fails.  They study blood samples from persons with chronic HIV infection as well as from elite controllers, persons who are able to control HIV infection to undetectable levels without the need for antiretroviral therapy (ART) 

Recognition and Media

Dr. Walker is a recipient of the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, a member of the Association of American Physicians, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Academy of Microbiology, as well as the recipient of two NIH Merit Awards.


Dr. Walker received a BS in chemistry in 1980 from the University of Colorado, Boulder, also attending the Swiss Federal Technical Institute (ETH), and his MD from Case Western Reserve University. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at MGH and Harvard Medical School, followed by an internship in pathology and fellowship training in infectious disease at MGH and Harvard Medical School. He is a native of Boulder, Colorado, and is board-certified in both internal medicine and infectious disease.

Selected Publications

Functional impairment of HIV-specific CD8 + T cells precedes aborted spontaneous control of viremia

David R Collins, Jonathan M Urbach, Zachary J Racenet, Umar Arshad, Karen A Power, Ruchi M Newman, Geetha H Mylvaganam, Ngoc L Ly, Xiaodong Lian, Anna Rull, Yelizaveta Rassadkina, Adrienne G Yanez, Michael J Peluso, Steven G Deeks, Francesc Vidal, Mathias Lichterfeld, Xu G Yu, Gaurav D Gaiha, Todd M Allen, Bruce D Walker

Immunity. S1074-7613(21)00337-X. 2021 Sep 2; doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2021.08.007. PubMed

Resistance of HIV-infected macrophages to CD8(+) T lymphocyte-mediated killing drives activation of the immune system

Clayton, K. L., D. R. Collins, J. Lengieza, M. Ghebremichael, F. Dotiwala, J. Lieberman and B. D. Walker.

Nat Immunol 2018; 19(5): 475-486. PMCID: PMC6025741

A unique viral reservoir 1 landscape in HIV-1 elite controllers

Jiang C , Lian X, Gao C, Sun X, Einkauf B, Chevalier JM, Chen S, Hua S, Rhee B, Chang K, Blackmer JE, Osborn M, Peluso MJ, Hoh R, Somsouk M, Milush J, Bertagnoll LN, Sweet SE, Varriale JA, Burbelo PD, Chun TE, Laird GM, Serrao E, Engelman AN, Carrington M, Siliciano RF, Siliciano JM, Deeks SG, Walker BD, Lichterfeld M, Yu X.

Nature. 2020;585(7824):261-7

Structural Topology Defines Protective CD8+ T cell Epitopes in the HIV Proteome

Gaiha, G., E. J. Rossin, J. Urbach, C. Landeros, D. R. Collins, C. Nwonu, I. Muzinghi, M. N. Anahtar, M. Waring, A. Piechocka-Trocha, M. Waring, D. Worrall, M. S. Ghebremichael, R. M. Newman, K. A. Power, T. M. Allen, J. Chodosh and B. D. Walker.

Science, 2019. 364(6439):480-4

A genome-wide CRISPR screen identifies a restricted set of HIV host dependency factors

Park RJ, Wang T, Koundakjian D, Hultquist JF, Lamothe-Molina P, Monel B, Schumann K, Yu H, Krupzcak KM, Garcia-Beltran W, Piechocka-Trocha A, Krogan NJ, Marson A, Sabatini DM, Lander ES, Hacohen N, Walker BD.

Nat Genet. 2017;49(2):193-203 PMCID: PMC5511375

Augmentation of HIV-specific CD8+ T cell and CD4+ T cell function by immediate treatment of hyperacute HIV-1 clade C infection

Ndhlovu, Z., S. W. Kazer, T. Nkosi, F. Ogunshola, D. M. Muema, G. Anmole, S. A. Swann, A. Moodley, K. Dong, T. Reddy, M. A. Brockman, A. K. Shalek, T. Ndung'u and B. D. Walker.

Science Translational Medicine. 2019;11(493)

The Major Genetic Determinants of HIV-1 Control Affect HLA Class I Peptide Presentation; The International HIV Controller Study

Pereyra F, Jia X, McLaren PJ, Telenti A, De Bakker P, Walker BD et al.

Science 2010 Dec 10; 330(6010):1551-1557. PubMed PMID: 21051598

PD-1 expression on HIV-specific T cells is associated with T-cell exhaustion and disease progression

Day C.L., Kaufmann D.E., Kiepiela P., Brown JA., Moodley ES., Reddy S., Mackey EW., Miller J.D., Leslie A.J., DePierres C., Mncube Z., Duraiswamy J., Zhu B., Eichbaum Q., Altfeld M., Wherry E.J., Coovadia H.M., Goulder P.J., Klenerman P., Ahmed R., Freeman GJ., Walker B.D.

Nature. 2006 Sep 21; 443(7109):350-4. PubMed PMID 16921384

Lab Team

Sophia Cheever

Research Technician I

David Collins

Research Fellow

Julia Hitschfel

Graduate Research Assistant

Xiaolong Li

Research Fellow

Funsho Ogunshola

Research Fellow

Mpho Olatotse

Research Technician I

Alicja Piechocka-Trocha

Senior Lab Manager

Aaron Shulkin

Research Technician II

Nishant Singh

Research Fellow

Jonathan Urbach

BioInformatics Specialist I

Liza Vecchiarello

Research Technician II

Lucy Walters

Research Fellow

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