Eric A. Weaver, Ph.D., studies the use of centralized genes as a universal vaccine in the case of mismatch and for the establishment of a broadly reactive immune repertoire in naive immune systems. His work is focused on creating an optimal immunogen for use as influenza vaccines as well as the identification of new technologies that will improve the current influenza vaccines.
By capturing the genomes of rare adenoviruses into single low-copy plasmids, Dr. Weaver can explore their use as vaccine platforms. Additionally, other new vaccine platforms, such as helper-dependent adenoviruses, are being investigated.
- Use of bioinformatics to create universal vaccine antigens
- Adenovirus-vectored influenza vaccines induce rapid and long-lasting protective immunity against a lethal influenza challenge
- Novel vaccines that increase safety, include polyvalency to multiple pathogens and induce robust immunity
Significance to patient care
Vaccines play a very significant role in health care. Prevention of disease by vaccines has had an immense effect on reducing the economic burden of health care. However, the current vaccine technology is in need of improvement and expansion.
Dr. Weaver's vaccine viral vectors provide a safe, effective alternative to the traditional flu vaccines. Data from Dr. Weaver's group indicates that adenovirus-vectored influenza vaccines induce rapid and long-lasting protective immunity against a lethal influenza challenge. In addition, these very low doses are easily translatable to human doses.
By expanding to other infectious diseases, such as respiratory syncytial virus, smallpox and anthrax, Dr. Weaver and his team believe that their research can expand and improve current vaccine technology.
- Academic Editor, Public Library of Science ONE (PLoS ONE)
- Reviewer — Virus Research, Journal of Gene Therapy, Archives of Virology, Molecular Therapy