Collaborators‎ > ‎

Jennifer Slyker, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Global Health

Dr. Slyker received her BA (Biology) from Colgate University, her MSc (Integrative Bioscience) from Oxford University, and her PhD (Immunology) from Open University. She began working with the Kenya group in 2000 as a Research Assistant in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Slyker’s major research interest is in understanding the unique way in which the infant immune system handles viral infection.  Birth is a time of transition from a mostly sterile environment to one brimming with pathogens.  In infants, HIV infection occurs at a time when many infants also acquire persistent viral infections (herpes viruses: EBV/CMV/HHV-8). Though usually asymptomatic, these herpes viruses can cause severe disease in individuals that are immunosuppressed by HIV-1.  Conversely, these herpes viruses themselves may accelerate HIV disease progression.  Understanding the bi-directional interactions between HIV and herpes viruses, and the way in which this is modified by HIV therapy, maternal pMTCT prophylaxis, and antiviral suppressive therapy will enable the design of alternative preventative and therapeutic strategies to improve the health of HIV-infected children.


Slyker JA, Lohman-Payne BL, John-Stewart, GC, Obimbo E, Emery S, Richardson BA, Dong T, Iversen A, Mbori-Ngacha D, Overbaugh J, Emery VC, Rowland-Jones SL.  Acute cytomegalovirus infection in Kenyan HIV-1 infected infants. AIDS 2009, 23: 2173-2181.

A commentary on this article was published in the same issue: “HIV and cytomegalovirus co-infection in congenitally infected children: copathogens fanning each other’s flames?” Schleiss, M.  AIDS 2009, 23: 2215–2217.

Lohman-Payne B, Slyker JA, Richardson BA, Farquhar C, Majiwa M, Obimbo E, Mbori-Ngacha D, Overbaugh J, Rowland-Jones SL, John-Stewart GC. HIV-1 specific interferon-gamma responses in infants with early peripartum infection compared to late breastmilk infection. Clinical and Experimental Immunology 2009, 156:511-7.

John-Stewart GC, Mbori-Ngacha D, Lohman-Payne BL, Farquhar C, Emery S, Otieno P, Obimbo, E, Richardson BA, Dong T, Slyker JA, Nduati R, Overbaugh J, Rowland-Jones SL. HIV-1 specific CTLs and Breastmilk HIV-1 Transmission.  J Infect Dis 2009, 199: 889-898.

Slyker JA, Lohman-Payne BL, Rowland-Jones SL, Otieno P, Obimbo E, Richardson B, Mbori-Ngacha D, Overbaugh J, Emery VC, John-Stewart GC. Maternal plasma CMV DNAemia predicts mortality in HIV-1 infected women and their infants.  AIDS 2009; 23(1): 117-24.

Slyker JA, Lohman BL, Mbori-Ngacha DA, Reilly M, Wee EG, Dong T, McMichael AJ, Rowland-Jones SL, Hanke T, John-Stewart G. Modified vaccinia Ankara expressing HIVA antigen stimulates HIV-1-specific CD8 T cells in ELISpot assays of HIV-1 exposed infants. Vaccine 2005; 23(38): 4711-9.

Lohman BL, Slyker JA, Richardson BA, Farquhar C, Mabuka JM, Crudder C, Dong T, Obimbo E, Mbori-Ngacha D, Overbaugh J, Rowland-Jones S, John-Stewart G. Longitudinal assessment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-specific gamma interferon responses during the first year of life in HIV-1-infected infants. J Virol 2005; 79(13): 8121-30.

Farquhar C, Rowland-Jones S, Mbori-Ngacha D, Redman M, Lohman B, Slyker JA, Otieno P, Obimbo E, Rostron T, Ochieng J, Oyugi J, Bosire R, John-Stewart G. Human leukocyte antigen B*18 and protection against mother-to-child HIV type 1 transmission. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2004; 20(7):692-7.

Lohman BL, Slyker JA, Mbori-Ngacha D, Bosire R, Farquhar C, Obimbo E, Otieno P, Nduati R, Rowland-Jones S, John-Stewart G. Prevalence and magnitude of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1-specific lymphocyte responses in breast milk from HIV-1-seropositive women. J Infect Dis 2003; 188(11): 1666-74.

Arnold RM, Slyker JA, Gupta TH. Germination of Chaenorrhinum minus seeds in response to gibberellin treatments. Journal of Plant Physiology 1996; 148:677-83.