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Matthias Schnell, PhD

Contact Dr. Schnell

1020 Locust Street
Room 309
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-4634

Publications for this author are currently unavailable.

Medical School

BS, MS, PhD, University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim & Federal Research Center for Virus Diseases of Animals; Tuebingen, Germany - 1994

University Appointment

Professor
Microbiology and Immunology
Thomas Jefferson University

Research and Clinical Interests

Our laboratory develops Rhabdovirus-based vectors as vaccines against other infectious diseases. We are particularly interested in using molecular adjuvants and other molecules to enhance antigen-specific immunity and manipulate and retarget immune cells.

Using different molecular approaches, we perform detailed studies of highly attenuated RVs expressing HIV-1 or SIV genes and analyze their immunogenicity in mice. Novel approaches are the detailed studies of replication-deficient RV vectors.

Our most promising HIV vaccine candidates are currently being analyzed in a monkey model for AIDS.

Other approaches include using genetically modified RV G proteins or RV capsids to carry antigens of other pathogens as vaccines against Anthrax and Botulism. 

We also seek to develop safer and more potent RV vaccines for wildlife and humans.

One focus of the Schnell laboratory are Rhabdovirus-based vectors as vaccines against other infectious diseases.

  • Rabies viruses (RABV) based vaccines are promising as both live and killed vaccines against infectious disease. This is based on that RABV vectors are highly immunogenic and combine a necessary vaccine with limited financial resources for development (such as EBOV) with a safe, approved, and financially practical vaccine (RABV)
  • Using different molecular approaches, we perform detailed studies of highly attenuated rabies virus (RABV) RABV expressing filovirus (e.g. Ebola Virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV)) glycoproteins and analyze their immunogenicity in mice and non-human primates (NHP). The most promising filovirus virus vaccine candidates are currently further studied in NHP in collaboration with the NIH/NIAID Integrated Research facility with Dr. P. Jahrling’s group. Moreover, we did transfer the vaccine technology from a laboratory setting to good manufacture production (GMP) conditions. A production plan for the vaccine has been established, and the production of the vaccine in sufficient quantities for a phase I clinical trail is on its way by a FDA approved vaccine company (IDT in Germany).
  • Novel vaccines against Hendra and Nipha viruses: Currently we study the efficacy of RABV as well as a VSV-based vaccine platform against these emergent and highly pathogenic Henipaviruses in mice. The goal is the development of this vaccine platform for human but also to immunize animals to break the transmission cycle of this zoonotic disease.
  • New approaches using genetically modified RV G proteins carrying antigens of other pathogens are developed as novel vaccines against Botulism.  
  • Development of safer and more potent vaccines for wildlife and human rabies.