INDIVIDUAL RESEARCHERDeborah Heydenburg Fuller , Ph.D.
Education2001 - Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison
The primary focus of this laboratory is to investigate how pathogens interact with the immune system, with an emphasis on mucosal and T cell immunity, and to use that information to develop new vaccine strategies that prevent or treat the associated diseases. Immune control of HIV Part of our research program is focused on investigating the role of virus-specific mucosal immunity and CD4+/CD8+ T cell responses in HIV infection. This work is driven by 3 primary hypotheses: 1. Mucosal immunity is sufficient and necessary to control and prevent infection at the site of exposure. 2. The virus-specific CD4+ T cell response is essential for maintenance of the CD8+ T cell recall response. 3. CD8+ T cell responses targeting conserved regions of the virus are essential for long-term control of chronic infection. Vaccine development A second part of our research program is focused on translating immune mechanisms of viral control into prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine strategies for HIV and more recently, development of a new vaccine strategy for protection against both avian and seasonal strains of influenza. DNA vaccine-based technologies are central to this goal. Vaccine research in my laboratory is comprised of 3 major areas: 1. Develop vaccine delivery platforms and adjuvants that induce mucosal and T cell immunity. 2. Design new vaccine vectors and optimize antigens at the molecular level to increase immune recognition of highly conserved regions of the virus. 3. Identify immune correlates of protection against viral infection through vaccine efficacy trials. The results from these studies have provided insight into the immune mechanisms of pathogen control and resulted in further testing of the candidate vaccines in phase I human clinical trials.
- Fuller DH, Shipley T, Allen TM, Fuller JT, Wu MS, Horton H, Wilson N, Widera G, Watkins DI (2007). Immunogenicity of hybrid DNA vaccines expressing hepatitis B core particles carrying human and simian immunodeficiency virus epitopes in mice and rhesus macaques. Virology 364:245-255.
- Fuller DH, P Loudon, C Schmaljohn (2006). Preclinical and clinical progress of particle-mediated DNA vaccines for infectious diseases. Methods 40: 86-97
- Fuller DH, PA Rajakumar, MS Wu, C W McMahon, T Shipley, JT Fuller, A Bazmi, AM Trichel, TM Allen, B Mothe, JR Haynes, DI Watkins, M Murhphey-Corb (2006). DNA immunization in combination with effective antiretroviral drug therapy controls viral rebound and prevents simian AIDS after treatment is discontinued. Virology 348:200-215.
- Fuller, DH, P Rajakumar, L A Wilson, AM Trichel, JT Fuller, T Shipley, MS Wu, K Weiss, CR Rinaldo, JR Haynes, M Murphey-Corb (2002). Induction of mucosal protection against primary, heterologous SIV by a DNA vaccine J. Virol. 76:3309-17
- Roy, MS, MS Wu, LJ Barr, JT Fuller, LG Tussey, S Speller, J Culp, J Burkholder, WF Swain, RM Dixon, G Widera, R Vessey, A. King, G Ogg, A Gallimore, DH Fuller (2000). Induction of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, T helper cells, and protective levels of antibody in humans by particle-mediated administration of a hepatitis B virus DNA vaccine. Vaccine 19:764-778.