Blake T Ball

Image Sarah London
Chief: National Laboratory for HIV Immunology, National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories

Directs programs ensuring the accuracy and reliability of HIV diagnostics across Canada, and Internationally.  A mucosal immunologist, researching the innate and adaptive immune responses to HIV and other Pathogens.

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Ball’s main research interests are trying to understand susceptibility to infectious diseases, specifically HIV-1 and Tuberculosis. His research focus is to develop an understanding of what protects individuals from infectious disease acquisition and disease progression, discovering why these responses develop, and then work to translate these findings into novel public health interventions.

Understanding the mechanisms of why some individuals control or resist infectious agents is critical information for the development of vaccines, diagnostics and the development of new treatments.

Research and/or project statements

  • Studies Host Genetics’ importance in susceptibility to HIV-1 and how regulating these genetic responses may allow the development of novel approaches to HIV treatment
  • Identifies mucosal immune correlates of protection against HIV-1 and also against HIV disease progression
  • Responsible for insuring the quality of HIV immune diagnostics for HIV/AIDS care and treatment across Canada and internationally to better support the health and welfare of Canadians and others worldwide affected by HIV

  • Has advised the International AIDS Vaccine initiative (IAVI), the WHO and the CDC on implementing HIV immune assays in Africa

Professional activities / interests

Served as consultant and member of many projects and associations, including the WHO STD/HIV/STI collaborative center at the University of Manitoba/University of Nairobi,  WHO-CDC Working groups for improving the quality of HIV related Point of Care testing and Member of the Canadian Association of HIV Researchers.

Education and awards


Post-Doctoral Fellow - Department of Immunology, University of Manitoba, 2002

PhD Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, 2001

M.Sc. Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, 1995

B.Sc. Microbiology, University of Manitoba, 1991


Hoffman Laroche Major Student Award for Excellence in Population Based Research, University of Manitoba, 2002

Faculty Educator of the Year, University of Manitoba, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 2016

Canadian Association of HIV Researchers-Canadian Association for AIDS Research Excellence in Research Award Winner, 2018

International experience and/or work

Member of several technical working groups for External Quality Assurance delivery in Africa.

Member of the American Society for Microbiology and Virology

Member of the International AIDS Society.

Member of the Joint Executive Committee University of Nairobi/University of Manitoba Collaboration.

Key publications

Gonzalez SM, Aguilar-Jimenez W, Trujillo-Gil E, Zapata W, Su RC, Ball TB, Rugeles MT. Vitamin D treatment of peripheral blood mononuclear cells modulated immune activation and reduced susceptibility to HIV-1 infection of CD4+ T lymphocytes. PLoS One. 2019 Sep 24;14(9):e0222878. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31550271

Tang BM, Shojaei M, Teoh S, Meyers A, Ho J, Ball TB, (…), McLean A, Schughart K. Neutrophils-related host factors associated with severe disease and fatality in patients with influenza infection. Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 31;10(1):3422. PMID: 31366921

Juno JA, Waruk JLM, Wragg KM, Mesa C, Lopez C, Bueti J, Kent SJ, Ball TB, Kiazyk SA. Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells Are Depleted and Exhibit Altered Chemokine Receptor Expression and Elevated Granulocyte Macrophage-Colony Stimulating Factor Production During End-Stage Renal Disease. Front Immunol. 2018 May 17;9:1076. eCollection 2018. PMID: 29868028

Kiazyk S, Ball TB. Latent tuberculosis infection: An overview. Can Commun Dis Rep. 2017 Mar 2;43(3-4):62-66. eCollection 2017 Mar 2. PMID:29770066

Gibbs A, Buggert M, Edfeldt G, Ranefall P, Introini A, Cheuk S, Martini E, Eidsmo L, Ball TB, Kimani J, Kaul R, Karlsson AC, Wählby C, Broliden K, Tjernlund A.HIV-infected women have high numbers of CD103-CD8+ T cells residing close to the basal membrane of the ectocervical epithelium. J Infect Dis. 2017 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29272532

Udenwobele DI, Su RC, Good SV, Ball TB, Varma Shrivastav S, Shrivastav Myristoylation: An Important Protein Modification in the Immune Response. A.Front Immunol. 2017 Jun 30;8:751. eCollection 2017. Review. PMID: 28713376

Juno JA, Waruk JLM, Harris A, Mesa C, Lopez C, Bueti J, Ball TB, Kiazyk SA. γδ T-cell function is inhibited in end-stage renal disease and impacted by latent tuberculosis infection. Kidney Int. 2017 Jun 24. pii: S0085-2538(17)30241-7. doi:. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:28651949

Tang BM, Shojaei M, Parnell GP, Huang S, Nalos M, Teoh S, O'Connor K, Schibeci S, Phu AL, Kumar A, Ho J, Meyers AFA, Keynan Y, Ball T, (…), McLean A, Schughart K. A novel immune biomarker IFI27 discriminates between influenza and bacteria in patients with suspected respiratory infection. Eur Respir J. 2017 Jun 15;49(6). PMID:28619954

Kiguoya MW, Mann JK, Chopera D, Gounder K, Lee GQ, Hunt PW, Martin JN, Ball TB, Kimani J, Brumme ZL, Brockman MA, Ndung'u T. Subtype-Specific Differences in Gag-Protease-Driven Replication Capacity are Consistent with Inter-Subtype Differences in HIV-1 Disease Progression. J Virol. 2017 Apr 19. pii: JVI.00253-17. doi:. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28424286

Meyers AFA, Sandstrom P, Denny T, Hurlston M, Ball TB, Peeling RW, Boeras DI.  Quality Assurance for HIV Point-of-Care Testing and Treatment Monitoring Assays.  African Journal of Laboratory Medicine 2016;5(2), a557. PMID: 28879133


Research facility

1015 Arlington Street
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3M4


Adjunct Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Manitoba

Visiting Scholar, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Nairobi