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Dr. Hélène Côté
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

My research program focuses on the mitochondrial and telomere toxicity of prescription drugs, primarily antiretroviral drugs used in HIV therapy. Combination antiretroviral therapy has significantly decreased mortality in the HIV-infected population, however, because it is not a cure, antiretroviral treatment is life-long. As HIV-infected individuals survive longer, there is increasing evidence that HIV-infected individuals experience accelerated aging. The long-term toxicities of antiretroviral drugs may play an important role in the increased morbidity observed in HIV populations. The effect of antiretroviral drug exposure during fetal development (pregnancy), childhood and adulthood on telomere length and mitochondrial function are the topics of interest in my lab. We study cell culture models as well as clinical samples from a Canadian cohort of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adults (primarily women) and children.

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