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Justin Harper received his M.A. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 2013 from Rice University studying the atomic resolution structure of RNA viruses by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography under Dr. Jane Tao. He joined the Paiardini lab as a Research Specialist in 2015 and transitioned into the lab manager position in 2018. Using SIV-infected macaques, his prior areas of interest include (1) the characterization of immune checkpoint receptors as a biomarker for enriched viral content; (2) determining if combination immune checkpoint blockade synergistically reactivates latent SIV; (3) evaluating the role of IL-10 signaling in promoting the maintenance of CD4+ T cell subsets that contribute to viral persistence; and (4) investigating novel immunotherapy approaches to induce natural killer (NK) cell maturation in vivo. Using CD4-depleting monoclonal antibodies to shift the distribution of the viral reservoir between CD4+ T cells and macrophages, he is currently investigating how macrophages are productively infected and determine if they persist with long-term ART.

Justin Harper, M.A.

Lab Manager

Justin Harper, M.A.



  • M.A. Biochemistry & Cell Biology

Rice University, Houston TX

2011 – 2013

  • B.S. Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering 

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

2008 – 2011


  • Laboratory Manager, Paiardini Lab

Emory National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA

2018 – present

  • Supervisory Research Specialist, Paiardini Lab

Emory National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA

2017 – 2018

  • Lead Research Specialist, Paiardini Lab

Emory National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA

2015 – 2017

  • Graduate Student, Tao Lab

Rice University, Houston, TX

2011 – 2013

Selected Publications

  • Harper J*, Ribeiro SP*, Chan CN, Aid M, Deleage C, Micci L, Pino M, Cervasi B, Raghunathan G, Rimmer E, Ayanoglu G, Wu G, Shenvi N, Barnard RJ, Del Prete GQ, Busman-Sahay K, Silvestri G, Kulpa DA, Bosinger SE, Easley KA, Howell BJ, Gorman D, Hazuda DJ, Estes JD, Sekaly RP, Paiardini M. Interleukin-10 contributes to reservoir establishment and persistence in SIV-infected macaques treated with antiretroviral therapy. J Clin Invest. 2022 Apr 15;132(8):e155251. doi: 10.1172/JCI155251. PMID: 35230978; PMCID: PMC9012284.

  • Harper J*, Huot N*, Micci L, Tharp G, King C, Rascle P, Shenvi N, Wang H, Galardi C, Upadhyay AA, Villinger F, Lifson J, Silvestri G, Easley K, Jacquelin B, Bosinger S, Müller-Trutwin M, Paiardini M. IL-21 and IFNα therapy rescues terminally differentiated NK cells and limits SIV reservoir in ART-treated macaques. Nat Commun. 2021 May 17;12(1):2866. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23189-7. PMID: 34001890; PMCID: PMC8129202.

  • Harper J, Gordon S, Chan CN, Wang H, Lindemuth E, Galardi C, Falcinelli SD, Raines SLM, Read JL, Nguyen K, McGary CS, Nekorchuk M, Busman-Sahay K, Schawalder J, King C, Pino M, Micci L, Cervasi B, Jean S, Sanderson A, Johns B, Koblansky AA, Amrine-Madsen H, Lifson J, Margolis DM, Silvestri G, Bar KJ, Favre D, Estes JD, Paiardini M. CTLA-4 and PD-1 dual blockade induces SIV reactivation without control of rebound after antiretroviral therapy interruption. Nat Med. 2020 Apr;26(4):519-528. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-0782-y. Epub 2020 Mar 16. PMID: 32284611; PMCID: PMC7790171.

  • McGary CS*, Deleage C*, Harper J*, Micci L*, Ribeiro SP, Paganini S, Kuri-Cervantes L, Benne C, Ryan ES, Balderas R, Jean S, Easley K, Marconi V, Silvestri G, Estes JD, Sekaly RP, Paiardini M. CTLA-4+PD-1- Memory CD4+ T Cells Critically Contribute to Viral Persistence in Antiretroviral Therapy-Suppressed, SIV-Infected Rhesus Macaques. Immunity. 2017 Oct 17;47(4):776-788.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.09.018. PMID: 29045906; PMCID: PMC5679306.

*Indicates co-first authorship

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