Key words: HCV, broadly neutralizing antibodies, resistance
My laboratory focuses on basic and translational studies of the humoral immune response against hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is fascinating because it establishes chronic infection in most exposed individuals, but about a third of people spontaneously clear the infection without treatment. Our overarching hypothesis is that understanding the immune response in individuals who clear infection can help us to understand the basic biology behind successful immune responses, and lead to design of an effective vaccine against HCV. We have isolated broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bNAbs) from subjects who cleared HCV infection, and showed that they were not extensively somatically mutated. Work in the laboratory includes molecular and structural characterization of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against HCV, defining the role of broadly neutralizing antibodies in spontaneous clearance of HCV in infected humans, defining mechanisms of bNAb resistance, and HCV vaccine development using animal models.
Profile: Publications and Interests