Social Medicine
Vision Statement:

My work is dedicated to improving the health of British Columbians who are living with HIV through the development, ongoing monitoring, and dissemination of comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related diseases.

Research Interests:

Drug Resistance, Genotyping, Automated Sequencing, Drug Development, and Clinical Trials

Research Summary:

HIV infection is characterized by a continuous evolution of the viral population as it adapts to its environment as a result of host genetic factors and antiviral drug pressure. Understanding how this works in a “real world” clinical setting can complement randomized clinical trials and prove particularly useful for determining longer-term outcomes. Using three major cohort studies (VIDUS, VLAS, and Vanguard), as well as the more than four thousand patients in the BC Drug Treatment Program, we developed new tests in our research lab and translated these into tests that patients use to optimise their treatments.  The lab also demonstrated the clinical utility of a screening method for determining viral tropism via genetic testing of HIV utilizing novel deep-sequencing technologies and implemented this in routine testing in Canada. My lab developed and distributed software for improved automated analysis of HIV drug resistance (“ReCall”), which is now being used worldwide.
More recently, we have expanded our interests to include development and implementation of testing for Hepatitis C and the novel Coronavirus which is the cause of COVID-19 using nanopore sequencing approaches.

University of British Columbia, PhD
Recent Publications:

Link to PubMed

Awards & Recognition:

(Last 5 years)

  • ACCOLAIDS 2010. British Columbia Persons with AIDS Society. Research /Science/Technology Award. April 18, 2010.
  • UBC Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Achievement Award (Basic Science). March 2012.
  • BC CfE Meritorious Serve Recognition Award. BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. March 16, 2012
  • ACCOLAIDS 2012. Living Positive BC. Science, Research and Technology Award. April 29, 2012.
  • LifeSciences BC Innovation and Achievement Award. April 4, 2013.
  • Salary support award: 2013-2018 – CIHR/GSK Research Chair Award in HIV/AIDS at the University of British Columbia, $70,000 per year.
  • 2014 Providence Health Care Research and Mission Award. April 24, 2014.
GrantingAgency Subject $ Per Year Year PI Co-PI’s
Canadian Institutes of HealthResearch(CIHR) Scaling up treatment to reduce population HIV incidence $213,900 2009-2013 E Mills G Guyatt, PR Harrigan, R Hogg, C Kityo, V Lima, JS Montaner, D Moore, P Mugyenyi
US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Novel approaches to monitoring and utilizing adherence to HIV therapy in Africa $18,000 2010-2013 PR Harrigan D Bangsberg, G Lee
International Development Research Centre (IDRC) The Canada-sub Saharan Africa (CANSSA) HIV/AIDS Network: building capacity for clinical care and prevention research in Africa $450,000 2010-2014 M Brockman PR Harrigan
Canadian Institutes of HealthResearch(CIHR) HIV immune escape mutations as predictors of abacavir hypersensitivity, and probes for HIV pathogenesis and evolution $70,000 2010-2013 L Swenson PR Harrigan
Canadian Institutes of HealthResearch(CIHR) Assessing the impact of HIV on aging: A Canadian pan-provincial HIV-treatment cohort study $10,000 2011-2012 R Hogg C Cooper, M Klein, M Loutfy, JS Montaner, J Raboud, S Rourke, C Tsoukas
Canadian Institutes of HealthResearch(CIHR) Novel plasma biomarkers to predict cardiovascular disease and lung cancer in HIV/AIDS $99,837 2011-2012 D Sin PR Harrigan
Canadian Institutes of HealthResearch(CIHR) Hepatitis C virus transmission dynamics among injection drug users $139,366 2011-2014 M KrajdenJ Grebely T Applegate, PR Harrigan, A Poon, Z Brumme, B Jacka, J Raffa, G Dore, B Marshall, E Wood, S Gaudieri, G Matthews
Canadian Institutes of HealthResearch(CIHR) HIV adaptation to immune selection pressures: historic trends and future implications $106,044 2011-2014 Z BrummeM BrockmanA Poon K Mayer, B Koblin, J Kuchs, PR Harrigan, D Heckerman, T Ueno, T Miura, S Mallal, J Carlson
Canadian Institutes of HealthResearch(CIHR) Measuring mitochondrial aging, application to HIV infection and therapy $110,050 2012-2015 H Côté PR Harrigan, D Money, N Pick, A Poon, H Soudeyns
Genome Canada Viral and human genetic predictors of response to HIV therapies $1,218,436 2013-2017 PR Harrigan JS Montaner
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Human and viral factors determining HIV progression and response to antiretroviral therapySalary support award: CIHR/GSK Research Chair Award in HIV/AIDS $70,000 2013-2018 PR Harrigan
Genome BC Simeprevir screening assay for hepatitis C therapy $200,000 2014 PR Harrigan M Krajden,H Hew
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canadian HIV Observational Cohort (CANOC) Collaborative Research Centre $545,352 2014- R Hogg PR Harrigan et al (CANOC team)

I am dedicated to ensuring that my students develop individually and independently while studying intensively in an applied laboratory atmosphere. I believe that the best and most efficient learning experiences occur when young minds are enabled to function, and develop through practical experience and trial & error reasoning with the best resources available in a ‘real world’ setting. At the end of their time under my supervision my students have matured, and developed as academics more through the experience provided, than through any other form of theoretical based learning.

I attempt to foster and develop the academic and professional skills not taught or experienced in a traditional lecture hall setting. Some of these skills include (but are not limited to) professional interaction with research leaders, workplace and laboratory communication, motivation through contribution to important and revolutionary data and sense of considerable responsibility and personal accomplishment only achieved through work-intensive learning.

 PhD Students
(as Primary Supervisor)
Peer Reviewed Publications Abstracts Awards/ Scholarships Start Finish
Chanson Brumme** 29 67 9 2010 ongoing
Luke Swenson 22 35 14 2009 2014
Guinevere Lee** 1 13 7 2009 ongoing
Rachel McGovern** 11 25 9 2009 ongoing
Graduate Students
Sara Saberi** 2011 ongoing
Joseph Liu 2012 2014
Undergraduate Students – 4 to 8 month Co-op (continued)
Xiaoyin Zhong 2 7 2009 2010
Heather Murray 2012 2012
Rosemary McCloskey 2012 2012
Aram Karakas 2012 2012
Post-Doctoral Fellows
Art Poon 5 13 16 2008 2011
Alex Gonzalez-Serna** 1 1 2012 ongoing