Joakim Esbjörnsson is principal investigator and head of the Systems Virology group at the Department of Laboratory Science, Lund University, Sweden. His research represents an interdisciplinary combination between virology, immunology and bioinformatics and aims to identify virus-host mechanisms that ultimately could be targeted for a functional cure or vaccine. Curbing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic represents one of the major challenges of our time and a functional vaccine or cure aims to limit both disease progression and spread by persistent control of viral loads without life-long treatment. The two main focus areas of his research are acute HIV-1 infection, and HIV-1 and HIV-2 dual-infection. As a parallel line of research, he uses phylodynamic analyses to study the molecular epidemiology and spread of HIV within and between countries and transmission groups.