• Logo
  • Logo
  • Logo
  • Logo
  • Logo

Who We Are


The research personnel from the Arts collaborative labs are located on the 3rd floor of the Dental Sciences building at DSB 3003, as well as the new state-of-the-art CL2+/CL3 ImPaKT facilities. Current projects include developing a vaccine to cure HIV, treatment and drug resistance, preventative vaccines, transmission and pathogenesis, as well as numerous COVID-19-related projects.


A core of 5 to 8 Ugandan scientists work in the CFAR Uganda molecular virology labs at the JCRC, directed by Dr. Immaculate Nankya. This lab was established by Dr. Arts in 1998 with the primary mission to understand HIV pathogenesis and to provide advanced clinical virology assays. As a WHO Regional Lab, the CFAR Uganda labs have performed over 5000 HIV-1 drug resistance tests for patients in East Africa.


With Dr. Miguel Quinones-Mateu we have been at the forefront of new vaccine approaches and new tests for HIV-1 clinical care. The lab has patented new cloning strategies for viruses, new multiplex methods for SNP detection, and new pipelines for Next Generation Sequencing. The Arts/Gao/Mann lab is also a participant of various international vaccine studies, EAVI2020 and collaborator of the first HIV vaccine trial in Canada.


The 6000 sqft ImPaKT biochemistry labs and the 5200 sqft ImPaKT CL2+/CL3 facilitiesreside on the 3rd and 6th floor of DSB, respectively. The facility offers access to advanced imaging modalities to be housed in a safe, secure and accessible CL2+/CL3 facility equipped with animal housing and tissue culture equiptment.


Prof. Robin Shattock, Imperial College, UK and EAVI2020: HIV-1 transmission, vaccine, and CURE studies
Drs. Sarah Fidler and Caroline Foster, Imperial College and St. Mary’s Hospital, UK: HIV-1 CURE studies
Dr. Immaculate Nankya, Joint Clinical Research Centre, Uganda: HIV-1 pathogenesis and drug resistance
Dr. Miguel Quinones-Mateu, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and UHTL, USA: Assay development and drug resistance
Dr. Jeff Bailey, University of Massachusetts, USA: Bioinformatics and HIV-1 evolution
Dr. Chuanwu Zhu, The Fifth People’s Hospital of Suzhou, China: HIV-1 treatment outcomes and drug resistance
Dr. David McDonald, CWRU, USA: Restriction factors and HIV-1 pathogenesis
Dr. Robert Salata, CWRU, USA: HIV-1 clinical cohorts in Uganda
Dr. Jonathan Karn, CWRU, USA and Dr. Gabriele Varani, University of Washington, USA: HIV-1 RNA regulation and peptidomimetic inhibitors
Dr. James Mullins, University of Washington, USA: HIV-1 immune escape

Why Us?

The Arts Lab

     The Arts laboratory was founded in 1997 by Dr. Eric J. Arts at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and then established a satellite laboratory at the Joint Clinical Research Centre in Kampala, Uganda. In 2014, we moved to Western University in London, Ontario from CWRU with strong research team and established a new home in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. Over the past 20 years, we were honoured to have over 100 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, clinical fellows, undergraduate students, visiting scientists and research assistants have worked with us on research projects related to HIV-1 pathogenesis, evolution, drug resistance, and molecular biology. Three faculty with strong collaborative ties and sharing common lab infrastructure.

     Arts Laboratory - committed to having fun, to developing new technologies, to being geeky scientists, and to finding a cure and vaccine for HIV-1

Meet the team behind our success.

Team HIV

Rick Gibson, BA, MSc
Rick Gibson, BA, MSc
Research Scientist. Interested in virus evolution and drug resistance using deep sequencing and leveraging these tools for clinical use.
Former contestant on American Idol.
Fernanda Russell
Fernanda Russell
Program Coordinator & Chair Assistant. Keeps the boss on track and on time.
Hula dancer from Hawaii. Has more power than all of us combined.
Yue Li
Yue Li
With more than 15 years of work experience in HIV-1/AIDS, my main professional focus is on vaccine development and effect detection, AIDS animal model generation, and viral-host immune responses.
Paul Solis-Reyes, BMSc
Paul Solis-Reyes, BMSc
PhD Candidate. Motivated to determine subtype specific HIV drug resistance mutations.
"Sexy and Snappy" - E. Arts
Yiying (Clara) Zhang
Yiying (Clara) Zhang, BSc
Direct entry PhD. Working on HIV transmission fitness and a brutal aerosolization chamber. Absolutely love spicy food and bossing people around.
Lei Qi, MD
Lei Qi, MD.
PhD Candidate working on a latent HIV imaging model. "It will happen!".
Iulian Derecichei, BSc, MSc
Iulian Derecichei, BSc, MSc
PhD Candidate. Studying HIV vaccine development and immune responses. Resident organoids expert.
Justin Donovan, BSc, BAT
Justin Donovan, BSc, BAT
Thats not me in the corner, thats me in the spotlight doing viral transfections.
Dylan Weninger, HBMSc
Dylan Weninger
Research Technician working on characterizing genomic packaging within lentiviruses. I understand whats going on ~70% of the time. The other 30% I spend yeast cloning.
Abbey Norris
Abbey Norris.
4th year BMSc student.
Jonathan Fortini
Jonathan Fortini
Fourth Year Thesis Student. Working on detecting SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples. Still holding out hope that the Leafs will win a cup in my lifetime.
Jenny Ma
Ryan Ho
Fourth Year Thesis Student. Redesigning an HIV-1 latency vector to improve IVIS imaging results