July 31, 2019

DHVI Investigator Dr. Mattia Bonsignori receives sub-award on R01 grant

Congratulations to Dr. Mattia Bonsignori for receiving a sub-award on an R01 in collaboration with Dr. Laurent Verkoczy at San Diego Biomedical Research Institute titled: Novel vaccine strategies to induce V2 apex-directed broad neutralizing antibodies.  Because of the remarkable viral diversity of HIV-1’s glycoprotein Envelope, a major challenge in developing an HIV vaccine is inducing antibodies that can neutralize a broad array of HIV-1 strains. A major hurdle is that most sites in the HIV-1 Envelope are hidden, and thus require unusual antibody structures that originate from rare B-cells.  The goal of this study is to evaluate a novel strategy we have termed “priming by proxy”, that exploits redundancy in the immune system, and thus aims at coaxing it into expanding such rare clones at levels that allow current vaccine regimens designed to “fine-tune” them towards developing broad neutralizing function. Immunogen proteins will be produced under the management of Dr. Kevin Saunders and monoclonal antibodies elicited in mice will be tested for reactivity and neutralization in Dr. Bonsignori’s laboratory.