233 S. 10th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
BS, City College of New York, Biology, 1973
MS, Tulane University, Parasitology, 1977
PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Parasitology, 1983
Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
Research and Clinical Interests
Vaccine development against nematode infections. Nematode infections including, Onchocerca volvulus and Strongyloides stercoralis, infect millions of people each year causing significant morbidity. The goals of my research are to: (1) determine the mechanisms used by the immune response to kill the parasites; (2) utilize the information gained on how the parasites are killed to develop identify antigens for use in a vaccine; (3) determine the optimal immunization protocol for inducing protective immunity with the identified antigens. We have developed animal models for both of these infections that demonstrate that protective adaptive immunity requires multiple components of the immune response operating in synergy. These include Th2 CD4 cells producing both IL-4 and IL-5, complement activation, eosinophils and neutrophils. Antibody is also essential for the immune control of both of these infections. Protective immunity has been shown to be dependent on IgE, IgG or IgM depending on the immunization regimen and the species of parasite. Furthermore, we have determined that human antibody will kill the parasites in mice. Recombinant antigens have been identified and cloned based on their recognition by antibodies from humans and animals. Approximately 50 antigens have been tested using different delivery systems and adjuvant combinations to determine vaccine efficacy. Several recombinant antigens have been identified which are successful at inducing protective immunity to infections in mice. DNA vaccines have also been successfully developed with other antigens. Efforts are now directed to determine the optimal way to administer these antigens to induce immune resistance to the infections.