May 23, 2019

DHVI Investigator Dr. Munir Alam Awarded HIVRAD P01

Congratulations to Dr. Munir Alam on receiving his HIVRAD P01, titled: Immunogen Design for Induction of HIV distal gp41 broadly neutralizing antibodies

The distal MPER (membrane proximal external region) of HIV Envelope glycoprotein 41 has been a focus of HIV vaccine development efforts due to the remarkable breadth and potency of broad neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) that target this region of the Envelope. However, attempts to design immunogens that can initiate and induce distal MPER bnAbs have faced several roadblocks, including polyreactivity for host proteins and bnAb control by immune tolerance. Dr. Munir and team will work in collaboration with Dr. William Schief from Scripps Institute and Drs. Ming Tian and Fred Alt  from Harvard University to combine structure and lineage based vaccine development strategies to design immunogens that will initiate and select potent distal MPER bnAb B cell lineages that are not polyreactive and therefore easier to induce. Together their expertise will be a powerful approach to the problem of vaccine induction of disfavored antibody lineages in general and distal MPER bnAbs in particular.