Thesis working title:  Cell- Cell, Virus-Cell infection during HIV and T-cell Activation

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was discovered in 1983, and twenty five years later the lack of complete understanding of the disease remains questioned. We have been working on developing a mathematical model for HIV infection based on two infection mechanism free floating virions and cell to cell transmission.  

Some of questions that Joe thinks about: Can I predict strains that will not be infectious? How important is recombination to HIV replication? How can I distinguish one drug regimen from another mathematically?


Piekarski and M.Castellanos, Modeling HIV through two distinct pathways, Look Ahead XI. Poster. UMBC, November 2007.

J. McGill, J. Piekarski and M. Castellanos, Modeling Viral Kinetics. Poster. Wyeth Summit, UMBC, August 2007.


Name: Joseph Piekarski


Joined the lab July 2006

Birthday: October 8th

College: Virginia Tech

Major: Chemical Engineering

Minors: Chemistry and Psychology

Swimming Accomplishments:

VT School records holder

200 IM, 200 Breast

2 Time Big East Champion 200 IM

Favorite Color: Orange

Favorite Book: Bathroom readers

Favorite Movie: Gladiator

Favorite Food: Pk’s chicken wing Pizza

Favorite Sport: College Football (Hokies!)

Favorite Actress: Mandy Moore

Favorite Actor: Russell Crowe

Favorite Band: Garbage

Favorite Game: Online Pool

Favorite Class: Entomology

Favorite TV show: Grey’s Anatomy

Favorite Beer: Reel Big Fish