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Edmund J. Gosselin , Ph.D.


1988 - Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, MA

Current Research

The primary focus of research in my laboratory is in the areas of antigen (Ag) processing/presentation and vaccine development. Ag presentation is a critical component of an effective immune response against most pathogens. The basic tenet of research in my laboratory is that by better understanding Ag processing and presentation, the cell types involved, and mechanisms for enhancing Ag presentation, one can better understand how to develop more effective vaccine strategies.

It has been known since the mid-1980's that Ag bound to antibody (Ab) in the form of soluble Ab-Ag complexes is presented by Fc receptor-bearing Ag presenting cells to Ag-specific T cells approximately 100 fold more efficiently than Ag alone. While current funding in my laboratory is directed at understanding these and other issues related to Fc receptor-dependent enhancement of Ag presentation by mouse and human monocytes, macrophages,  and dendritic cells, the ultimate goal of this laboratory is to convert knowledge gained from these studies into clinical application.

Our studies, and those of other laboratories, indicate that  targeting Ag to Ag presenting cells can significantly  enhance  T  cell  activation  in vitro. In 2008, we demonstrated for the first time that targeting immunogen to Fc receptors intranasally via mAb-inactivated Francisella tularensis (iFt) complexes could enhance protection against the highly lethal F. tularensis organism SchuS4 (a category A biothreat agent). Using human Fc gamma receptor type I transgenic mice, we have also shown that targeting Ag to human Fc gamma receptor type I intranasally using an anti-human Fc gamma receptor type I-PspA (Ag) fusion protein can significantly  enhance Ab production, cytokine responses, and protection against PspA-expressing Streptococcus pneumoniae. Importantly, use of adjuvant was not required.  

Thus, the current focus of the laboratory is on the development of adjuvant-independent vaccines through Fc receptor  targeting  of protective immunogens at mucosal sites. In particular, as it applies to mouse and human immune responses to F. tularensisS. pneumoniae   (a   common respiratory pathogen), and HIV. Ultimately, we  expect  these studies, and this vaccine strategy, will have wide applicability to vaccines against a variety of  pathogens in adult, pediatric, and immunocompromised populations.


How We Currently Believe Fc Receptor Targeting of Immunogens Works at Mucosal Sites


PubMed Publications

  1. Bitsaktsis, C., Li, Y., Iglesias, B., Colino, J., Snapper, C.M., Hollingshead, S.K. and Gosselin, E.J. Mucosal immunization with an unadjuvanted vaccine that targets S. pneumoniae PspA to human FcgammaRI protects against pneumococcal infection through complement- and lactoferrin- mediated bactericidal activity. Inf. and Imm., 80:1166-1180, 2012.

  2. Gosselin, E.J., Bitsaktsis, C., Li, Y., and Iglesias, B.V. Fc Receptor-Targeted Mucosal Vaccination as a Novel Strategy for the Generation of Enhanced Immunity Against Mucosal and Non-Mucosal Pathogens. Arch. Immunol. Exp. Therapy 57:311-323, 2009.

  3. Bitsaktsis, C., Rawool, D.B., Li, Y., Kurkure, N.V., Iglesias, B., and Gosselin, E.J. Differential requirements for protection against mucosal challenge with Francisella tularensis in the presence versus absence of Cholera Toxin B and inactivated F. tularensis. J. Immunol. 182(8):4899-909, 2009.

  4. Rawool, D,. Bitsaktsis, C., Li, Y., Gosselin, D.R., Lin, Y., Kurkure, N.V., Metzger, D.W., and Gosselin, E..J. Utilization of Fc receptors as a Mucosal Vaccine Strategy Against an Intracellular Bacterium, Francisella tularensis, J. Immunol. 180(8):5548-57, 2008.

  5. Gosselin, E..J., Gosselin, D.R., and Lotz, S.A. Natural Killer and CD8 T Cells Dominate the Response by Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells to Inactivated Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain. Hum. Immunol. 66:1039-49, 2005.