• Portrait of Keith Fowke
  • Department head and professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
    Room 539 – 745 Bannatyne Ave.
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0J9

    Phone: 204-789-3818
    Fax: 204-789-3926



  • Department of Community of Health Science, Max Rady College of Medicine

Research achievements

Research summary

Dr. Fowke has established an active research laboratory which is currently focusing on several major areas of research:

  • Determining the immunological phenotype in individuals who are resistant to HIV infection. The lab hypothesizes that resistance is mediated by what the lab has termed Immune Quiescence, a phenotype resulting in few activated HIV target cells in the genital tract.
  • How to induce this low immune activation phenotype by using anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the number of HIV target cells in the genital tract.
  • The lab studies antibody responses to respiratory viruses such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2.
  • How HIV dysregulates the immune response and how immune checkpoints, such as LAG-3, may be suitable targets for intervention with the goal of restabilising a fully functioning immune system among those infected with HIV.
  • Determine the effects on the immune system of solvent use, which is common in economically deprived communities around the world, and its implications for infectious disease susceptibility.

Research themes

  • Prevention of HIV infection
  • HIV cure
  • Immune responses in respiratory virus infection and vaccination
  • Immune effects of solvent use


  • HIV, influenza, SARS-CoV-2
  • Immune system
  • Immune quiescence
  • Flow cytometry
  • Community engagement
  • Infectious disease training

Research affiliations

Research groups

  • Manitoba HIV research group


In 1988 Dr. Fowke received his B.Sc. (H), first class, in Microbiology from the University of Manitoba.

He then initiated graduate work in the university's department of medical microbiology under the direction of Drs. J. Neil Simonsen and Francis Plummer.

His PhD thesis work entitled “Resistance to HIV-1 Infection Among a Group of Continuously Exposed Women” consisted of the initial description of HIV resistance in the Pumwani sex workers cohort in Nairobi, Kenya.

After receiving his PhD in 1995, Dr. Fowke sought to strengthen his interest in cellular immunology through a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Gene Shearer at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

Over the next four years Dr. Fowke’s research focused on immune dysregulation in HIV infection.

In 1999, he was recruited to BBI Biotech Research Laboratories, in Gaithersburg Maryland, as a project scientist to establish an HIV cellular immunology lab.

In 1999, Dr. Fowke was also recruited to a tenure-track assistant professor position in the University of Manitoba's department of medical microbiology and infectious diseases, was promoted to associate professor in April 2004, full professor in 2009, and became department head in 2013.


Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America (1995-1999)

Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba (1995)

Bachelor of Science - Major in Microbiology, University of Manitoba (1988)



  • Merit Award in the “Research, Scholarly Work and Creative Activities” category, University of Manitoba and University of Manitoba Faculty Association


  • “Dr. Francis Plummer Researcher of the Year 2018”, University of Manitoba, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases


  • Educator of the Year – Graduate Studies, University of Manitoba, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases


  • Merit Award (Combination category – Research/Teaching/Service), University of Manitoba


  • Manitoba Research Chair, Manitoba Health Research Council, $100,000 per year


  • Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), New Investigator Award, $55,000 per year


  • Educator of the Year - Graduate Studies, University of Manitoba, Department of Medical Microbiology
  • Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in Health Sciences, University of Manitoba


  • Dr. Kenneth Hughes Young Investigator Award for Medical Research, University of Manitoba

Dr. Keith Fowke In the news

Contact us

Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room 543 - 745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada