Ralph Pantophlet

Dr. Ralph Pantophlet is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and an associate faculty member of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. He is also a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator (2010) and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar (2012).

Research in the Pantophlet laboratory is centered on vaccine immunology and molecular vaccine design. Research questions are focused particularly on understanding antibody responses to and antibody recognition of HIV-1, particularly those antibodies that can block infectivity of a broad range of HIV strains (broadly neutralizing antibodies). Knowledge gained from studying these interactions is applied to the molecular engineering and characterization of prospective vaccine immunogens to elicit antibodies of desired specificity and neutralizing activity. Knowledge gained from this work may also be applicable to other viruses for which (better) vaccines are needed (e.g. hepatitis C and influenza).

Funding for research in the Pantophlet laboratory is provided mainly by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Recent Publications

Clark BE, Auyeung K, Fregolino E, Parrilli M, Lanzetta R, De Castro C, Pantophlet R. A bacterial lipooligosaccharide that naturally mimics the epitope of the HIV-neutralizing antibody 2G12 as a template for vaccine design. Chem Biol. 2012 Feb 24;19(2):254-63. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2011.12.019. (PubMed abstract)

Ahmed FK, Clark BE, Burton DR, Pantophlet R. An engineered mutant of HIV-1 gp120 formulated with adjuvant Quil A promotes elicitation of antibody responses overlapping the CD4-binding site. Vaccine. 2012 Jan 20;30(5):922-30. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.11.089. Epub 2011 Dec 4. (PubMed abstract)

Pantophlet R. Antibody epitope exposure and neutralization of HIV-1. Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(33):3729-43. (PubMed abstract)

Pantophlet R, Wang M, Aguilar-Sino RO, Burton DR. The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope spike of primary viruses can suppress antibody access to variable regions. J Virol. 2009 Feb;83(4):1649-59. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02046-08. Epub 2008 Nov 26. (PubMed abstract)

Pantophlet R, Wrin T, Cavacini LA, Robinson JE, Burton DR. Neutralizing activity of antibodies to the V3 loop region of HIV-1 gp120 relative to their epitope fine specificity. Virology. 2008 Nov 25;381(2):251-60. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.08.032. Epub 2008 Sep 26. (PubMed abstract)