Koen Van Rompay, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Infectious Diseases Unit
Primate Assay Core Lead
Dr. Van Rompay’s expertise is in nonhuman primate models of HIV infection, and more recently, also Zika virus infection. His research has a special focus on vaccines and antiviral drugs to prevent or treat infection with these viruses, including in animal models of pregnancy and infancy.
Treatments for HIV
Dr. Van Rompay was on the forefront of developing HIV treatments at the CNPRC in the 1990s. He helped to develop and test the anti-viral drug tenofovir, which is currently, as part of combination antiretroviral therapy, the most frequently used HIV drug in the world. Tenofovir has saved the lives of many infants by preventing mother-to-child transmission, and is now the key ingredient in pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis regimens (“PrEP”) to prevent transmission of the virus in high-risk groups.
Research Leads to Worldwide Health Benefits
Dr. Koen Van Rompay founded Sahaya International (Davis-based 501(3) nonprofit organization), a diverse network of friends and research scientists committed to making a difference towards improving the quality of life in third world countries. Around the world, families have been given correct information on HIV/AIDS and have gained access to life-saving HIV treatments. This includes tablets containing tenofovir, which is now being used increasingly in developing countries. This successful drug is a direct result of the preclinical research performed on tenofovir in nonhuman primates at CNPRC. Thanks to this treatment, individuals have seen a dramatic improvement in their health; they are able to resume work, and their children can lead normal lives, including attending school thanks to the support of Sahaya.