Therapeutics and Preventative Strategies
The focus of the therapeutics and preventative strategies group is to develop novel anti inflammatory and vaccine candidates for a number of microbial pathogens including emerging pathogens. Several groups are focusing on defining new microbial antigens, which induce protection in various animal models and in defining mechanisms of protection. Likewise there is a concerted effort in developing novel adjuvants of microbial origin, which can be used in existing and new vaccine strategies. Vaccines currently under development include those for N. meningitidis, F. tularensis, B. anthracis, P. gingivalis, M. tuberculosis and HIV. The use of nanoparticles as bio-degradable antigen depots for peptide- and protein-based vaccines are also being developed to optimize immunization strategies with a group of investigators at the BU Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology. Additional research interests include molecular genetic analysis of protein and polypeptide delivery into the cytosol of eukaryotic cells and the use of bacterial toxins and cytokines as platforms for engineering novel immunotherapeutic agents.