Associate Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine
Dr. Naghavi’s research has had a long-term focus on host factors that regulate HIV-1 infection in a variety of cell types, including microglia and primary neurons. Her early work discovered that the neuronal protein FEZ-1 regulates early HIV-1 infection. She have since gone on to show that FEZ1 acts as a microtubule (MT) motor adaptor protein that associates with HIV-1 capsids and regulates inward movement of viral particles to the nucleus. Dr. Naghavi’s research has also uncovered fundamental aspects of how HIV-1 regulates MT behavior to facilitate infection and the host factors involved. This includes MT plus-end binding proteins and actin-MT cross-linkers involved in initiating virus transport. Moreover, she discovered that HIV-1 infection was regulated by PDZD8, a poorly understood protein whose biological function was unknown prior to our discovery of its role in regulating MT stability.