TRIAD Principal Investigators
Steve Gregory, Ph.D., Dendritic-cell Pulsed HCV Vaccine Research Project PI
Dr. Gregory’s current research efforts focus, in part, is on delineating the role of the liver (listeroiosis disease) and the lung (tularemia) in host resistance to systemic bacterial infections. Dr. Gregory and Dr. De Groot have had a longstanding collaboration on F. tularensis; they were able to demonstrate that a genome derived, epitope-driven vaccine could protect against live bacterial challenge. A manuscript describing their collaborative work over the past two years is in preparation.
The specific mechanisms that underlie the extraordinary capacity of the immune system to clear and kill these pathogens are under investigation. Dr. Gregory is conducting ongoing experiments to determine the mechanisms that underlie protection against replication of L. monocytogenes and F. tularensis in vitro and in vivo.
Thomas N. Mather, Ph.D., Tick Vaccine Research Project PI
Dr. Mather heads a NIH-funded discovery-based research program that is exposing the potential significance of tick salivary components that modulate host defenses, thereby leading to successful blood-feeding and pathogen transmission. Since they began studying the properties of tick saliva in 1994, Mather, along with collaborators at URI and NIH, have pioneered tick salivary transcriptomics, identifying and cataloguing a significant number of genes that can be explored for their potential use as part of an anti-tick vaccine. More recently, their work has focused on developing systems for accelerating progress from tick transcriptomes to their immunome.
Mather’s program is enhanced by a long-standing and dynamic collaboration with NIH scientists Jose Ribeiro and Jesus Valenzuela and their respective research teams. These groups routinely share research materials and experimental protocols, as well as training opportunities in advanced molecular biology, bioinformatics and post-proteomic discovery. At the core of the this team’s progress to date is access to large quantities of ticks, tick salivary glands, and tick saliva, including over 30 mLs of tick saliva collected over the past 14 years and used in a wide variety of experimental applications. Dr. Mather and Dr. De Groot have collaborated on a number of research proposals to promote the development of approaches to developing a tick-salivome based vaccine.
Lenny Moise, Ph.D., Technology Project Detolerized Anti-DEC-205 PI
Dr. Moise is a new investigator moving with Dr. De Groot from Brown to URI. He previously worked under Dr. Edward Hawrot in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology (MPPB). His doctoral thesis topic was NMR solution structure of the principal bungarotoxin binding site on the alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in complex with bungarotoxin. After he received his PhD from Brown University in May 2002, he was an NIH COBRE Postdoctoral Research Associate in Dr. Hawrot’s lab, studying the functional effects of bungarotoxin binding site transplantation into other proteins.
In June 2006, Dr. Moise joined the EpiVax team as Director of Vaccine Research. Since then, he has been working on development of vaccines against tularemia, smallpox, and H. pylori, and has led the effort in deimmunization of botulinum neurotoxin. Dr. Moise and Dr. De Groot have an extraordinarily productive collaboration in terms of programs in progress, grants submitted, and papers published.
Steven Moss, M.D., H.pylori Therapeutic Vaccine Project PI (in collaboration with Dr. Moise)
Dr. Steven Moss is a Professor of Medicine at Brown University, a clinical gastroenterologist at Rhode Island Hospital, and the Director of the Brown University Gastroenterology Fellowship Training program. He graduated from University College/Royal Free Hospital Medical School in London, U.K. and trained there in Medicine and Gastroenterology before moving to the US in 1993. After completing a second gastroenterology fellowship at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York he joined the faculty at Columbia University before moving to Rhode Island in 2000. Dr. Moss’ clinical and research interests are in the pathogenesis of H. pylori infection in peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. His laboratory is currently focused on dissecting the molecular and cellular pathways underlying gastric carcinogenesis related to H. pylori infection using cellular and animal models s well as human tissues.