Lightning Chess: How Host Immunity Gains a Winning Position Against Ebolavirus Infection

Infection and Immunity
Megaron, Educatorium
Nancy Sullivan, PhD

Nancy Sullivan, PhD

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, United States of America


Abstract Seminar

Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), one of five species in the genus Ebolavirus, is the causative agent of the hemorrhagic fever disease epidemic that claimed more than 11,000 lives from 2014 to 2016 in West Africa. The combination of EBOV's ability to disseminate broadly and rapidly within the host and its high pathogenicity pose unique challenges to the human immune system postinfection. Clinical, virological, and immunological data greatly enhance our knowledge of host-virus interactions.  Vaccine studies in animal models elucidate mechanisms of immunity that inform next generation vaccines as well as immunotherapeutics.  Dr. Sullivan will describe the twists and turns in the identification of a protective Ebola, and recent advances in the development of a highly potent mAb that reverses advanced Ebola virus disease in macaques.

more information: 

Major Areas of Research

  • Development of vaccines and antivirals against hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa
  • Studies of the mechanism of vaccine-induced immune protection and host immunity to natural infection
  • Basic research to understand the mechanism of virus replication (entry) and neutralization

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