CRS Scientist Spotlight on Dr. Yanique Thomas
Dr. Yanique Thomas, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Tom Hope's laboratory where her research focus is on methods to study the progression of HIV infection during antiretroviral therapy and rebound upon cessation using the rhesus macaque animal model.
What is your current position?
Post-doctoral Fellow in Dr. Thomas Hope, PhD lab.
Could you describe your research?
My research focuses on the use of new and innovative methods to study the progression of HIV infection during antiretroviral therapy (ART) and the subsequent resurgence of an active infection following the cessation of ART (rebound). I utilize multi-scale imaging to observe the dynamics of the viral reservoir in the rhesus macaque non-human primate model. My research combines PET/CT scanning, immunofluorescence microscopy, and electron microscopy to investigate the establishment of infected cell populations after viral challenge, during long-term ART, and during viral rebound. This work will hopefully improve the understanding of the dynamics of viral reservoirs and prove to be an invaluable contribution to the HIV cure field.
What aspect(s) of CRS do you find most valuable or look forward to engaging in?
I mostly look forward to sharing my work and experimental methods, and to both giving and receiving input as a part of this community. It is always great to have opportunities to collaborate in any capacity.
What has been the most valuable aspect to your training as a scientist?
The broad range of areas I have studied and the experimental methodologies I have learned. Also, the opportunities I have had to share my work and network with scientist across the globe.
What would you recommend to junior scientists in order for them succeed in their scientific careers?
Keep themselves open to different scientific approaches and different ways they can contribute to the field at large, and be flexible with the ways you approach scientific problems. Also, take advantage of opportunities to communicate with scientists from different fields and backgrounds, because sometimes they can provide invaluable advice.
What do you think will be the next big contribution in your field?
The full understanding of the cells which constitute the HIV reservoir.
What hobbies do you have outside of the lab?
Reading. Literature has been important to me for my entire life, and I read whenever I have the time. I use books as an escape, as my preferred form of entertainment, and as a way to educate myself on every topic I am interested in. I also review books, host a book club, and I am constantly recommending books to any and every one I speak to.