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Dr. Robert Shafer specializes in the treatment of infectious diseases. He has practiced for more than 25 years. Dr. Shafer has a special interest in acute and chronic viral infections.
My group’s research is on the mechanisms and consequences of virus evolution with a focus on HIV therapy and drug resistance. We maintain a public HIV drug resistance database (http://hivdb.stanford.edu) as a resource for HIV drug resistance surveillance, interpreting HIV drug resistance tests, and HIV drug development. These three disciplines – epidemiology, clinical management, and basic science – reflect the interdisciplinary nature of antiviral drug resistance research and represent the range of our group’s activities. HIV drug resistance, once the main challenge to the very concept that antiretroviral therapy would be possible, has been countered in a striking success of modern medicine. However, HIV drug resistance persists as the main threat to the long-term effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy in the under-resourced parts of the world with the highest numbers of HIV-infected people. The paramount goal of our group's work is to inform HIV treatment and prevention policies by identifying the most important factors responsible for the emergence and spread of drug resistance. Additional interests of our group include sequence analyses that provide insight into viral pathogenesis, open source informatics approaches that facilitate the use of genomic data in clinical practice, and new sequencing technologies.