MS, Mississippi State University, 1973
Under a contract with the National Institute of Health and Wyeth Lederle Vaccine Pediatrics, the Center for Immunization Research conducts human vaccine trials involving a variety of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and dengue hemorrhagic fever virus candidate vaccines. My responsibility is to develop serologic and cellular assays to characterize the immune response induced by these vaccines. In the past I have developed serologic assays for immune responses against influenza viruses, Q fever, canary pox-rabies, and vaccinia-HIVgp160 recombinant viruses. I have also applied these methods to large numbers of human specimens from vaccine trials. We are conducting Phase I trials for RSV, Parainfluenza type III, and Dengue type-4 virus vaccines and I have developed or am developing the following serological methods to evaluate immune responses against these vaccines: 1. RSV vaccine trials: a. Measurement of serum IgG and IgA to RSV F and G glycoproteins have been developed and appear to be the most sensitive method for immune response in young infants. b. A micro-neutralization assay for a measurement of anti-RSV neutralizing antibodies has been developed for studying the epidemiology of RSV in a native Alaskan pediatric population. c. I am working with a student to develop new assays for measuring IgG and IgA response to RSV F and G peptides. This may help to determine whether a monovalent or bivalent RSV vaccine is needed for young infants. 2. Parainfluenza type III vaccine trials: a. An assay to measure serum IgA to parainfluenza hemagglutinin-neurminidase protein has been developed and it also appears to be the most sensitive method for detecting an immune response in young infants. b. I am developing an enzyme immunoassay for anti-parainfluenza fusion protein in serum of young infants.
3. Dengue type-4 vaccine trials: a. Measurement of anti-yellow fever neutralizing antibody by immunostain method has been developed. b. I am developing similar neutralizing antibody assays for Dengue type 1,2,3 and 4 viruses.