Fourth Place - Cindy Danielson

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
Current AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow

“Mapping the Road Blocks” 

HIV can only infect certain types of cells, and these cells are located deep within the tissue (autofluorescent green with nuclei shown in blue). The virus must first travel through a protective layer of dead cells (yellow) located close to the edge of the tissue. If HIV makes it through that protective layer, it still has to get past proteins that hold cells together, like adherens junctions (red), before it can find cells to infect.

Danielson and her colleagues use human tissue samples obtained from biopsies or surgeries to study the biological barriers that HIV encounters during sexual transmission. If scientists can learn more about these barriers, they will have a better chance of developing new methods to strengthen these natural defenses and protect against HIV infection.

Technique: Deconvolution microscopy, false coloring