Dr Harrigan has been involved in HIV research since 1992. His research has focused on HIV drug efficacy and resistance, including the genetic basis of HIV drug resistance. At the Centre, this has involved studies of more than 6,000 people in several major cohorts as well as in the BC HIV/AIDS Drug Treatment Program. In addition to directing clinically driven basic research initiatives, he has developed and implemented the HIV/AIDS Drug Resistance Testing Program, and has initiated the development of a therapeutic drug and toxicity monitoring program, which is currently under evaluation.
Dr Harrigan has previous experience in antiretroviral drug development and genomics research in the pharmaceutical industry. His work includes a significant contribution to the scientific literature including descriptions of novel HIV drug resistance mutations and their effects on viral suppression and clinical outcomes, the impact of cross resistance, and recommendations for standards in drug resistance testing.
A major focus of Dr Harrigan's laboratory research program is to develop, evaluate and implement technology and information that has a direct effect on HIV patient care. His four year research plan includes: the development, application and evaluation of novel cost-effective laboratory tests that monitor HIV disease progression; research that furthers our understanding of drug resistance and strategies for its prevention; examination of drug adherence through the development and application of laboratory-based tools that accurately detect and report non-adherence, and the effects of adherence interventions on outcomes; the development, application and evaluation of novel methods that monitor antiretroviral drug toxicity; and investigations of the relationships between human and viral genetic factors and treatment outcomes.