Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.; ?>

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.

Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium Director, Professor of Immunology and Microbial Science, Professor of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology, The Scripps Research Institute - La Jolla, California, USA

Erica Ollmann Saphire studies viruses with compact genomes of only 4-7 genes (Ebola and Lassa viruses in particular). Consequently, each protein is critical, many are obligated to perform multiple functions, and some actually rearrange their structures to achieve those new functions. As a result, these few polypeptides accomplish a surprisingly complex set of biological functions: immune evasion, receptor recognition, cell entry, transcription, translation, assembly and exit.  Viruses with limited genomes also offer a well-defined landscape of possible protein-protein interactions, which together comprise the totality of their life cycle. By systematically analyzing the structures and functions of each protein the virus encodes, the Ollmann Saphire lab has discovered fundamental insights into the biology of entry, immune evasion, and assembly, and has deciphered the collaborative roles of these proteins in pathogenesis.

Gary P. Kobinger, Ph.D.; ?>

Gary P. Kobinger, Ph.D.

Head of Special Pathogens, Vector Design, and Immunotherapy at the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Gary Kobinger is the Head of the Special Pathogens Program that provides Canada’s diagnostic and reference services for risk group 4 (RG4) pathogens. The Special Pathogens Program provides national, and occasionally international field and surveillance support. Innovative research on RG4 pathogens as well as training of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and international partners are additional important focuses of the program. Dr. Kobinger’s research interests include investigations on the molecular biology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and host immune responses of RG4 pathogens as well as the development of clinical modalities to cure or prevent infections (e.g. antivirals, vaccines etc.).  Developing sensitive and specific diagnostic tests and systems to detect and monitor RG4 pathogens is also a priority, including approaches that can be used successfully in field studies and outbreak settings.

John M. Dye, Ph.D.; ?>

John M. Dye, Ph.D.

Viral Immunology Branch Chief, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases - Frederick, Maryland, USA

John M. Dye, Ph.D., is a research scientist and the Viral Immunology Branch Chief at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. He has been developing and evaluating vaccines and treatments against Ebola virus and Marburg virus for 11 years in BSL-4 containment.

Kartik Chandran, Ph.D.; ?>

Kartik Chandran, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - New York, New York, USA

Kartik Chandran studies the process by which the highly pathogenic Ebola and Marburg filoviruses gain entry into the cytoplasm of host cells.  The filovirus entry mechanism is unusually complex. It consists of multiple steps in which the virus interacts with and co-opts distinct host cell molecules, and is itself structurally transformed as a result.  His research has identified endosomal host factors that are critical for filovirus entry, such as the Niemann-Pick C1 protein, and may serve as potential targets for antiviral therapy. His work has also identified endosomal cysteine proteases that are required for viral entry and act by cleaving the viral glycoprotein.

Jonathan Lai, Ph.D.; ?>

Jonathan Lai, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - New York, New York, USA

Jonathan Lai studies the use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), or cocktails thereof, for treatment of viral diseases. His laboratory uses state-of-the-art protein engineering technologies to develop novel immunotherapeutics against several viruses.  A recent example is the use of “synthetic antibody technology” to develop the first humanized protective mAbs against the Sudan ebolavirus species, the result of a large multi-institution collaborative effort. Synthetic antibody technology is a phage-based approach that allows the production and screening of very large (> 1010) protein libraries.  There are five species of ebolavirus and, while many potential mAbs are available for the Zaire ebolavirus species, few are available for Sudan ebolavirus despite its high pathogenicity and increasing prevalence.  Subsequent efforts are focused on using nascent protein engineering technologies to address unmet immunotherapeutic needs for this and other viruses.

Leslie Lobel, M.D., Ph.D.; ?>

Leslie Lobel, M.D., Ph.D.

Chair of the Departments of Virology and Developmental Genetics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Beer Sheva, Israel

Leslie Lobel’s research studies the development of a vaccine and cure for infectious diseases, primarily Ebola. Partnering with both the U.S. military and the Uganda Virus Research Institute, his research relies primarily on obtaining and analyzing blood samples from survivors of Ebola and other diseases. Currently, there are over a 100 Ugandan survivors of Ebola that he contacts during his visits, checking their blood antibody and immunity levels over time, trying to discover how their immune system helped them survive.  This knowledge is then used to develop monoclonal antibodies for use as a drug which can be manufactured to give people immunity against a number of infectious diseases. This work will provide a “passive” vaccine offering protection immediately after being given.

Robert F. Garry, Jr., Ph.D.; ?>

Robert F. Garry, Jr., Ph.D.

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane University School of Medicine - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Research in the Garry Laboratory focuses on a number of aspects of viral pathogenesis. He was involved in collaborative studies that lead to the determination that entry proteins of enveloped viruses form at least three distinct structural classes.  Dr. Garry continues to maintain a broad interest in the mechanisms of enveloped virus entry. He has a long-standing interest in viral diagnostics dating back to his work with the industry scientists who developed the first generation of ELISA and western blot assays to detect serum antibodies to HIV-1. These early studies on viral diagnostics lead to his characterization of an isolate of HIV from a patient who died of AIDS in 1969, the earliest confirmed case of AIDS in the United States.

James Robinson, M.D.; ?>

James Robinson, M.D.

Professor of Pediatric Infectious Disease, Tulane University School of Medicine - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Dr. Robinson’s research deals primarily with the production of human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against viral glycoproteins.  Dr. Robinson has many years of experience in generating human and monkey MAbs that recognize HIV-1, HIV-2, and SIV surface glycoproteins. He was the first to explore the identification of conserved and variant epitopes of HIV-1 SU (gp120) using human MAb produced by EBV-transformed cell lines.  He is currently a collaborating investigator in the NIH Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) headed by Barton Haynes at Duke University and his is a collaborating investigator in four large consortia projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Thomas W. Geisbert, Ph.D.; ?>

Thomas W. Geisbert, Ph.D.

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston, Texas, USA

The Geisbert laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of emerging and re-emerging viruses that require Biosafety level (BSL)-4 containment and on the development of countermeasures against these viruses. Our work particularly emphasizes studies on viruses causing hemorrhagic fever (HF) including Ebola virus, Marburg virus, and Lassa virus. Efforts focus on developing, refining and characterizing animal models that accurately reproduce human viral HF infection and identifying critical pathogenic processes of viral HF infections that could be exploited as targets for therapeutic interventions. Particular emphasis is placed on determining the basis of coagulopathy and shock that characterize HF viral infections and measuring the therapeutic benefits of interrupting pathogenic processes that are important in the development of HF viral infection.

Larry Zeitlin, Ph.D.; ?>

Larry Zeitlin, Ph.D.

President Mapp Biopharmaceutical and LeafBio, Inc. - San Diego, California, USA

Larry received a B.A. in Biophysics and his doctorate in Reproductive Biology from The Johns Hopkins University. After serving as a Research Scientist at ReProtect, LLC (Baltimore, MD), and a Senior Scientist at Epicyte Pharmaceutical (San Diego, CA), together with Dr. Kevin Whaley, he co-founded Mapp Biopharmaceutical and LeafBio, Inc. (San Diego, CA). He has been an adjunct faculty member of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University since 2004. Larry has served as P.I. on numerous grants and contracts with the U.S. government, including those related to the discovery and continued development of ZMappTM, an anti-Ebola monoclonal antibody cocktail. Larry’s career focus has been on the development of monoclonal antibody based products to address unmet public health needs.

Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Ph.D.; ?>

Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Ph.D.

Professor of Virology, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Wisconsin, USA

The Kawaoka lab studies the the role of viral proteins in Ebola virus pathogenesis and viral replication. The lab also focuses on the molecular mechanism of interspecies transmission of the Influenza virus leading to influenza pandemics in humans, and the molecular pathogenesis of influenza in poultry and mammals.

Luis M. Branco, Ph.D.; ?>

Luis M. Branco, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Zalgen Labs, LLC, and Program Director at Autoimmune Technologies, LLC - Germantown, Maryland, USA

Luis M. Branco, Ph.D., has extensive expertise in multiple facets of research and development of chimeric, humanized, human, and affinity maturation of recombinant antibodies for human use. During 15 years in industry he was directly involved in the development of licensed antibody therapeutics, such as MedImmune’s Synagis (Palivizumab), Human Genome Sciences’ Benlysta (Belimumab) and ABthrax (raxibacumab), as well as additional antibodies under clinical evaluation (MEDI’s Numax [motavizumab], HGS’ CCR5mAb004, HGS-ETR1 [Mapatumumab]. His research interests also focused on development of industry leading technologies for acceleration of stable cell line development with high regulatory compliance, aimed at reducing timelines and costs in the development path toward IND filings

Andrew Ward, Ph.D.; ?>

Andrew Ward, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Structural and Computational Biology, The Scripps Research Institute - La Jolla, California, USA

Andrew Ward studies membrane proteins expressed on the surface of enveloped viruses that mediate viral entry into the cell by recognizing cell surface receptors and initiating endocytosis or membrane fusion.  Recently, broadly neutralizing antibodies targeting these surface spikes have been shown to provide protection against viral infection.  The Ward laboratory works to understand how these antibodies bind to and neutralize viruses.  Using single particle electron microscopy and electron tomography they are able to visualize these complexes and whole viruses, providing information about the mechanism of inhibition and aiding in the design of better immunogens for eliciting a broadly neutralizing antibody response in humans.

Sheng Li, Ph.D.; ?>

Sheng Li, Ph.D.

Project Scientist, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego - San Diego, California, USA

Sheng Li is the chief scientist in what is called the UCSD DXMS Proteomics Resource, where he provides ready access to advanced DXMS technology for more than 40 collaborating biomedical scientists at UCSD and throughout the world.  He has broad experience in protein mass spectrometry with expertise in protein characterization using hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry.  Dr. Li also works to advance the resolution and capabilities of DXMS analysis.

Cory Nykiforuk, Ph.D.; ?>

Cory Nykiforuk, Ph.D.

Director of Pipeline Research, Emergent BioSolutions - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Cory Nykiforuk has experience in the development of “humanized” monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins. His research and expertise supports internal program development and expansion of pipeline products within Emergent BioSolutions.

M. Javad Aman, Ph.D.; ?>

M. Javad Aman, Ph.D.

President and Chief Scientific Officer, Integrated BioTherapeutics Inc. - Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA

M. Javad Aman plays a dual role of both running the business and leading the science at Integrated BioTherapeutics.  He works to further the development of novel vaccines and immunotherapy for emerging infectious diseases. Current lead vaccine candidates include a multivalent vaccine for S. aureus infections as well as trivalent vaccine and antibody therapeutic for filovirus hemorrhagic fever.

Heinrich Feldmann, M.D., Ph.D.; ?>

Heinrich Feldmann, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief, Laboratory of Virology Division of Intramural Research (DIR), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Hamilton, Montana, USA

Dr. Feldmann is a laboratory expert on high containment viruses (BSL-4) and serves as a consultant on viral hemorrhagic fevers and related pathogens for the World Health Organization and, thus, has field experience and expertise in outbreak management. He is a member of national and international professional societies, an editor for Archives of Virology, and serves on the editorial board of several other journals. Dr. Feldmann is an external scientific reviewer for national and international organizations and serves as a scientific consultant for high containment laboratories. His professional interest is in the pathogenesis of hemorrhagic fever viruses, such as filoviruses, arenaviruses and bunyaviruses, and other emerging viral pathogens (containment level BSL-3 and BSL-4).

Ayato Takada, Ph.D.; ?>

Ayato Takada, Ph.D.

Professor of Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Hokkaido University – Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan - Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Dr. Takada studies functions of viral glycoproteins, roles of antiviral antibodies in immunity/ pathogenesis, and ecology of zoonotic viruses such as influenzaviruses and filoviruses. His research interests also focus on monoclonal antibodies for development of therapeutics and diagnostics for viral diseases.

Armand Sprecher, M.D.; ?>

Armand Sprecher, M.D.

Médecins Sans Frontières - Brussels, Belgium

Dr. Armand Sprecher is an emergency physician and epidemiologist who has worked with MSF since 1997. He has been involved with filovirus outbreak response since 2000, including working in the field during the outbreaks in Uganda 2000, Angola 2005, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2007, and the outbreak in West Africa. Between outbreaks, aside from filovirus disease issues, Armand works mostly on health informatics. Armand has also worked with the International Medical Corps and the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.

Kristian G. Andersen, Ph.D.; ?>

Kristian G. Andersen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, The Scripps Research Institute Director of Infectious Disease Genomics, Scripps Translational Science Institute - La Jolla, California, USA

Dr. Andersen has a PhD from the University of Cambridge in immunology and performed postdoctoral work in Pardis Sabeti’s group at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. Over the past decade, his research has focused on the complex relationship between host and pathogen. Using a combination of next-generation sequencing, field work, experimentation and computational biology he has spearheaded large international collaborations investigating the spread and evolution of highly deadly pathogens, including Zika virus, Ebola virus, and Lassa virus.

Galit Alter, Ph.D.; ?>

Galit Alter, Ph.D.

Director, Imaging Core Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard University, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard - Cambridge, Massachusetts USA

Galit Alter, PhD is an Associate Professor in Medicine at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard and leads a laboratory that collectively works towards the single goal of developing novel vaccine approaches aimed at recruiting and directing the antiviral activity of the innate immune system to kill virally infected cells. Dr. Alter received her PhD in Experimental Medicine from McGill University and performed her post-doctoral work under Dr. Marcus Altfeld at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of the innate immune response and the adaptive humoral immune response, with a focus on defining the role of innate immune recruiting antibodies in providing specificity to the innate immune system to kill virally infected cells.