UChicago researchers help identify important site of vulnerability on influenza viruses

Jenna Guthmiller

UChicago postdoctoral researcher Dr. Jenna Guthmiller is the first author on a study published in Nature on Dec. 23, which found that a small subset of antibodies elicited by experimental and existing influenza vaccines target a site at the base, or anchor, of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein—an “epitope” whose significance was not recognized in prior influenza antibody studies. Experiments in cell cultures and in mice suggested that antibodies against this “anchor epitope” can neutralize a broad set of influenza strains, including strains with pandemic potential.  Guthmiller, who is currently in Marcus Clark's lab, will be an incoming Assistant Professor in the department of Immunology & Microbiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Guthmiller was part of team of scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine, Scripps Research and the University of Chicago that included Dr. Patrick Wilson and Juliann Han (Microbiology PhD 2018), who is a staff scientist in the Ward Lab at the Scripps Research Institute. Immunolgy graduates Christoper Stamper (PhD 2012), now a postdoctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm,  Linda Yu-Ling Lan (PhD 2020), now a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford, and Haley Dugan (PhD 2021) a scientist at Adimab LLC in Chicago are also co-authors.

Read the full story "A new 'epitope' for universal influenza vaccines" published on December 23, 2021

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