Antibodies as Change Agents in HIV: Good News for Vaccines

About the speaker, Nancy Haigwood: In my position as Director of the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), I have in place strong senior scientific, veterinary, and administrative leadership, as well as a Project Manager, to provide expertise and guidance to manage the Center.

My office is responsible for strategic planning to plan and prioritize infrasctructure and scientific investments in collaboration with the host institution, Oregon Health & Science University. Together we work to assure that the goals of the National Primate Research Centers program are met or exceeded, to provide scientific models and expertise, nonhuman primate resources, and outstanding animal care for NIH-funded investigators exploring improvements for human health. 

I also maintain an active research laboratory funded by NIH. I have over 35 years’ experience in molecular biology and immunology research in the area of global health, both in the for-profit and non-profit sectors and for the last 30 years I have been actively engaged in vaccine discovery and immunotherapy research for in nonhuman primate (NHP) models for HIV/AIDS. I co-developed one of the first HIV vaccines, gp120 produced in CHO cells, while at Chiron Corporation (now Novartis) and have maintained a continuously funded laboratory that is focused on antibody-based therapies and Envelope-based vaccines to elicit protective antibodies.

Since leaving industry in 1997, I have led numerous and continuing individual and collaborative program grants as Principal Investigator, including serving as PI of a P01 “HIVRAD” vaccine grant to discover novel HIV Envelope immunogens. Expertise in the laboratory extends to DNA-based and viral vaccines, as well as recombinant monomeric and trimeric antigen design and production in 293 cells (and purification) for use in vaccine studies.

We have recently shown that potent human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies can change the course of SHIV infection in infant macaques, directly killing newly established infected cells in vivo and preventing the establishment of a permanent viral reservoir.