Slobodan Paessler, DVM, PhD

Slobodan Paessler, DVM, PhD

Department of Pathology
Director, Galveston National Laboratory Preclinical Studies Core
Director, Animal Biosafety Level 3, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity
Member, Center for Biodefense & Emerging Infectious Diseases

Phone: (409) 266-6913
Lab: (409) 747-2489

Slobodan Paessler, DVM, PhD

  • Areas of research: Molecular biology, viral pathogenesis, vaccine/antivirals, and diagnostics development.

    The research in my laboratory has focused on viral pathogenesis, vaccine development and on development of animal models to test new vaccine candidates and antiviral drugs. My main research interest is in understanding the mechanisms by which emerging RNA viruses cause encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, or respiratory diseases. Central nervous system (CNS) invasion by RNA viruses is particularly a complex and fascinating process. We seek to elucidate the nature of the neuroinflammatory response to CNS invasion by viruses in diverse families such as Togaviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Bunyaviridae and Arenaviridae. Our approach is designed to provide expertise for the development and evaluation of vaccines and anti-viral drugs in collaboration with partners in academia (within and between institutions), in biotechnology, and in federal agencies.
  • Education

    BS Agriculture and Veterinary School, Osijek, Croatia Veterinary Sciences 1991
    DVM Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, Germany Veterinary Medicine 1999
    Dr Med Vet Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, Germany
    Thesis: "Detection of antibodies against alphaviruses in sera of human and animal origin using recombinant antigens and virus-specific monoclonal antibodies." Funded by FHG (Fraunhofer Gesellschaft), Germany.
    PhD UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Galveston, TX, USA Experimental Pathology 2007

    Special Training

    Large Animal ABSL-3 training at CSU, Fort Collins, Colorado 2003
    USAMRIID Necropsy training in ABSL-4 laboratory at UTMB
    (Galveston; for rodents and rabbits).
    GLP training for high containment laboratories 2006-Present
  • Membership in Scientific and Professional Societies:

    2004-Present, American Society for Microbiology
    2004-Present, American Society for Tropical Medicine & Hygiene
    2006-Present, American Society for Virology
    2005-Present, American Association for the Advancement of Science

    Editorial Responsibilities:

    • Editorial Board:
      • Zoonoses and Public Health, 10/01/2007-Present
      • Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (TBED)
        - formerly Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Series A, 12/2007-Ppresent
    • Ad-hoc Reviewer:
      • American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
      • Journal of General Virology
      • Virology
      • Vaccine
      • Archives of Virology
      • Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
      • Veterinary Microbiology

    Service on National Study Sections:

    Reviewer for Biodefense Vaccine Enhancement BAA NIH-BARDA-NIAID-DMID-AI2007007. Review of contract proposals received in response to the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) that addresses third generation anthrax vaccines as well as other category A and B pathogen vaccines. This is an important initiative since eventually these products will likely be considered for the National Stockpile.

    Convener for the Workshop session titled “Vaccines & Vectors III.” American Society for Virology Annual Meeting 2008, Ithaca, NY

    Session Chair (neurovirology) for the 19th annual virology meeting (German Society for Virology), 2009, Leipzig, Germany.

    Scientific Advisory Board

    Influmedix Inc.

    1. Paessler S, Fayzulin RZ, Anishchenko M, Greene IP, Weaver SC, Frolov I. Recombinant Sindbis/Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus is highly attenuated and immunogenic. J Virol 2003 77(17):9278-9286.
    2. Paessler S, Aguilar P, Anishchenko M, Wang HQ, Aronson J, Campbell G, Cararra AS, Weaver SC. The hamster as an animal model for eastern equine encephalitis--and its use in studies of virus entrance into the brain. J Infect Dis 2004 189(11):2072-2076.
    3. Petrakova O, Volkova E, Gorchakov R, Paessler S, Kinney RM, Frolov I. Noncytopathic replication of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and eastern equine encephalitis virus replicons in Mammalian cells. J Virol 2005 79(12):7597-7608.
    4. Greene IP, Paessler S, Austgen L, Anishchenko M, Brault AC, Bowen RA, Weaver SC. Envelope glycoprotein mutations mediate equine amplification and virulence of epizootic Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. J Virol 2005 79(14):9128-9133.
    5. Aguilar PV, Paessler S, Carrara A-S, Baron S, Poast J, Wang E, Moncayo AC, Anishchenko M, Watts D, Tesh RB, Weaver SC. Variation in interferon sensitivity and induction among strains of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus. J Virol 2005 79(17):11300-11310.
    6. Paessler S, Ni H, Petrakova O, Fayzulin RZ, Yun N, Anishchenko M, Weaver SC, Frolov I. Replication and clearance of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus from the brains of animals vaccinated with chimeric SIN/VEE viruses. J Virol 2006 80(6):2784-2796.
    7. Anishchenko M, Bowen RA, Paessler S, Austgen L, Greene IP, Weaver SC. Venezuelan encephalitis emergence mediated by a phylogenetically predicted viral mutation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2006 103(13):4994-4999.
    8. Ni H, Yun NE, Zacks MA, Weaver SC, Tesh RB, Travassos da Rosa A, Powers A, Frolov I, Paessler S. Recombinant alphaviruses are safe and useful serological diagnostic tools. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007 Apr;76(4):774-781.
    9. Gorchakov R, Volkova E, Yun N, Linde N, Paessler S, Frolova E, and Frolov I. Comparative analysis of the alphavirus-based vectors expressing Rift Valley fever virus glycoproteins. Virology. 2007 Sep 15;366(1):212-225.
    10. Paessler S, Yun N, Judy BM, Dziuba N, Zacks MA, Grund AH, Frolov I, Campbell GA, Weaver SC, and Estes DM. Alpha-beta T cells provide protection against lethal encephalitis in the murine model of VEEV infection. Virology. 2007 Oct 25;367(2):307-323.
    11. Wang E, Petrakova O, Adams AP, Aguilar PV, Kang W, Paessler S, Frolov I, Weaver SC. Chimeric Sindbis/eastern equine encephalitis vaccine candidates are highly attenuated and immunogenic in mice. Vaccine. 2007 Oct 23;25(43):7573-7581.
    12. Yun NE, Linde NS, Zacks MA, Barr IG, Hurt AC, Smith JN, Dziuba N, Holbrook MR, Zhang L, Kilpatrick JM, Arnold S, and Paessler S. Injectable peramivir mitigates disease and promotes survival in ferrets and mice infected with highly virulent H5N1 influenza virus isolate A/Vietnam/1203/04. Virology. 2008 Apr 25;374(1):198-209.
    13. Paessler S, Ni H, Yun NE, Stein D and Rijnbrand C. Peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers inhibit alphavirus replication and prevent lethal encephalitis in VEEV-infected mice. Virology. 2008 Jul 5;376(2):357-370.
    14. Kendirgi F, Yun NE , Linde N , Zacks MA , Jeanon Smith, Jennifer Smith, McMicken H, Chen Y, Paessler S. “A Novel DNA-based vaccine protects mice against lethal infection with H5N1 influenza virus.” Hum Vaccin. 2008 Apr 21;4(5)Jan 28; [Epub ahead of print].
    15. Paessler S, Rijnbrand R, Stein DA, Ni H, Yun NE, Dziuba N, Borisevich V, Seregin A, Ma Y, Blouch R, Iversen PL, Zacks MA. Inhibition of alphavirus infection in cell culture and in mice with antisense morpholino oligomers. Virology. 2008 Jul 5;376(2):357-370.
    16. Yun NE, Linde NS, Dziuba N, Zacks MA, Smith JN, Smith JK, Aronson JF, Chumakova OV, Lander HM, Peters CJ, Paessler S. Pathogenesis of XJ and Romero strains of Junin virus in two strains of guinea pigs. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008 Aug;79(2):275-282.
    17. Espinosa BJ, Weaver SC, Paessler S, Brining D, Salazar M and Kochel T. Susceptibility of the Aotus nancymaae owl monkey to Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Vaccine. 2009 27(11):1729-1734.
    18. Yun N, Judy BM, Dziuba N, Zacks MA, Grund AH, Campbell GA, Estes DM, Paessler S. CD4+ T cells provide protection against acute lethal encephalitis caused by Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. Vaccine. 2009 27(30):4064-4073.
    19. Song L, Zhang Y, Yun NE, Poussard AL, Smith JN, Smith JK, Borisevich V, Linde JJ, Zacks MA, Li H, Kavita U, Reiserova L, Liu X, Dumuren K, Balasubramanian B, Weaver B, Parent J, Umlauf S, Liu G, Huleatt J, Tussey L, Paessler S. Superior efficacy of a recombinant flagellin:H5N1 HA globular head vaccine is determined by the placement of the globular head within flagellin. Vaccine. 2009 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print]
    20. Paessler S and Weaver SC, Vaccines for Venezuelan equine encephalitis, accepted for publication July 24 2009, Vaccine.

    NIH Biosketch