Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Schnell, Matthias

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Matthias J. Schnell, PhD

Contact Dr. Schnell

233 South 10th Street
531 BLSB
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-4634
(215) 503-5393 fax

Research and Clinical Interests

Research interests of the laboratory are the development of novel vaccines and viral pathogenesis.

Vaccines: 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. 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.

Pathogenesis: We are interested in understanding the interaction of rabies with the infected host at the molecular level. The molecular mechanism of rabies virus pathogenesis is not well understood, and our research analyzes the different functions of the rhabdoviral proteins (e.g. rabies virus) and their interactions with host proteins and the immune system. Current projects are directed toward understanding:

  • RV virus neurotropism and neuroinvasiveness: The transport of RV within neurons and the interaction of the RV phosphoprotein and glycoprotein with host proteins (receptors and transporter molecules)
  • Immune responses of wild-type RV and RV-based vectors in the infected host (innate and adaptive)


Most Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. The spread and evolution of rabies virus: Conquering new frontiers
  2. Ebola Virus Localization in the Macaque Reproductive Tract during Acute Ebola Virus Disease
  3. Ifit2 is a restriction factor in rabies virus pathogenicity
  4. Progress in Ebola Virus Vaccine Development
  5. Inactivated recombinant rabies viruses displaying canine distemper virus glycoproteins induce protective immunity against both pathogens
  6. The final (Oral Ebola) vaccine trial on captive chimpanzees?
  7. Toward an Effective Ebola Virus Vaccine
  8. One-Health: A safe, efficient, dual-use vaccine for humans and animals against middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus and rabies virus
  9. Keeping it in check: Chronic viral infection and antiviral immunity in the brain
  10. An Inactivated Rabies Virus-Based Ebola Vaccine, FILORAB1, Adjuvanted with Glucopyranosyl Lipid A in Stable Emulsion Confers Complete Protection in Nonhuman Primate Challenge Models
  11. Rabies Virus CVS-N2cδGStrain Enhances Retrograde Synaptic Transfer and Neuronal Viability
  12. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Rabies Virus (But Were Afraid to Ask)
  13. Human polyclonal antibodies produced through DNA vaccination of transchromosomal cattle provide mice with post-exposure protection against lethal zaire and Sudan ebolaviruses
  14. Reverse genetics of Mononegavirales: How they work, new vaccines, and new cancer therapeutics
  15. Rhabdovirus-based vaccine platforms against henipaviruses
  16. Controlled viral glycoprotein expression as a safety feature in a bivalent rabies-ebola vaccine
  17. Preclinical Development of Inactivated Rabies Virus-Based Polyvalent Vaccine Against Rabies and Filoviruses
  18. Safety and serological response to a matrix gene-deleted rabies virus-based vaccine vector in dogs
  19. Recombinant rabies virus particles presenting botulinum neurotoxin antigens elicit a protective humoral response in vivo
  20. Rabies virus replication and pathogenesis