Our Lab focuses on investigation of the mechanisms of the high pathogenicity of viruses Ebola, Marburg and Lassa and development of vaccines and antibody treatments against these viruses. More recently we also started work with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and hantaviruses Andes and Sin Nombre.
Our research includes, but not limited to, the following specific topics:
- Development of vaccines and investigation of the mechanisms of their protective effects.
- In-depth characterization of antibody responses to viral infections in humans.
- Development of therapeutic human monoclonal antibody treatments and investigation of the mechanisms of their protective effects.
- Investigation of the mechanisms of immunosuppression caused by these viruses.
- Comparative immunology of bats as a reservoir of emerging viral infections.
To get insight into these scientific topics, we are using molecular tools, including reverse genetics (i.e. development of genetically modified filoviruses from the DNA-copies of their genomes and use of mini-genomes), immunological tools such as multi-parameter flow cytometry, single-cell sequencing, human immune cells and animal models. Our research includes experiments in BSL-2, BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs of the Galveston National Laboratory. Our research is supported by grants from NIH and DoD and by contracts.
Our collaborators include Dr. James Crowe, Jr. (Vanderbilt University), Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire (La Jolla Institute for Immunology), Dr. Galit Alter (Ragon Institute), Dr. Thomas Geisbert (UTMB), Dr. Raul Andino (UCSF), Moderna, Inc. and other groups.