As a clinician-scientist, Kelly focuses her research on host genetic and pathogen-driven variation in host immune response to HIV and its application in vaccine design. She was a founding board member of the OHTN and served for six years. She has also served on the Federal Ministerial Council on HIV/AIDS and as Chair of the HIV Vaccine Program of the Canadian Vaccine Network.
Kelly was the first researcher to hold the Chair in HIV Research, funded in part by the OHTN and the first such chair dedicated to HIV in the country. She has held the post for eight years.
Her research includes the following OHTN grants:
- Qualitative Differences in CD8 Effector Function, Impact on HIV Immune Selection (2005-2006)
- Using the Molecular Structure of Virus-Neutralizing HIV Epitopes to Custom Design Effective Synthetic Vaccines (2004-2007)
- Impact of HIV-1 Specific Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses on Incident HIV-1 Infection in a Cohort of Highly Exposed Uninfected Sex Workers (1998-2002)
- Interaction & specificity of Cellular & Humoral Immune Responses in HIV-1 Exposed Uninfected Individuals (1998-2002)