MAY 10, 2017 10:00 AM PDT

ExpiCHO expression of HIV-1 immunogens for structure guided vaccine design

  • Sr. Research Associate, Integrative Structural and Computational Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
      B.S. Biology, Santa Clara University, CA
      Ph.D. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine

      Protein biochemist and structural biologist in the field of HIV vaccine design. Duties include design and expression of novel immunogens in mammalian cells, stringent purification protocols for animal immunization studies, and quality control assessment of antigens alone or in presence of adjuvants/buffers using a combination of biolayer interferometry, differential scanning calorimetry, isothermal titration calorimetry, and electron microscopy. Assessment includes samples from GMP-level production. Additional projects involve high-resolution epitope mapping and structural determination of HIV Env trimers using cryoelectron microscopy, with a focus on trimer dynamics.


    The isolation of broadly-neutralizing antibodies from HIV-1 infected individuals raises the hope that a vaccine may elicit a similar immune response. These antibodies target the only viral protein on the surface of HIV, a metastable trimer of heterodimers, Env. A popular option for vaccine design is an engineered version of Env (named SOSIP) that is solubilized and stabilized. Production of many antigenically diverse SOSIP trimers for immunization studies is critical for an increased understanding of the development of neutralizing antibodies.

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