Alexander Bukreyev, PhD

Our laboratory focuses on development of vaccines against highly pathogenic filoviruses Ebola and Marburg and on investigation of mechanisms of their high pathogenicity. Our research includes the following specific topics:

• Development of mucosal respiratory tract vaccines against Ebola virus based on paramyxovirus vectors

•  Evaluation of the protective efficacy and the immune responses induced by these vaccines in non-human primates

•  Analysis of antibody and cell-mediated responses to the vaccines

•  Investigation of mechanisms of lymphocyte apoptosis induced by Ebola and Marburg viruses

•  Investigation of contribution of specific proteins and their functional domains to the high pathogenicity of Ebola and Marburg viruses

•  Development small-molecule antivirals against filoviruses

To get insight into these scientific topics, we are using molecular tools, including reverse genetics (i.e. development of genetically modified Ebola viruses from the DNA-copies of their genomes) and immunological tools, including multi-color flow cytometry. The number of collaborations have been established that include: Dr. Sergei Nekhai (Howard University), on development of small molecule inhibitors of filovirus replication; Dr. Peter Collins (NIAID, NIH) on development of respiratory mucosal vaccines; Dr. Tom Geisbert (Department of Microbiology & Immunology, UTMB) on testing of protection efficacy of the mucosal vaccines in a primate model; Dr. Chris Basler (Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY) and Dr. Tom Geisbert on the investigation of the role of an interferon antagonist protein in the pathogenicity of Ebola virus; and Dr. Alex Freiberg (Department of Pathology, UTMB) on testing of anti-vitals. Our research includes experiments in a BSL-2 lab in the Keiller Building, and in BSL-4 labs of the Galveston National Laboratory.

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