Vaccine-Induced Antibody Responses as Correlates of Protection from SIV infection
Supervisor: Prof. Jonathan Luke Heeney
I have been enrolled as a PhD student under prof. Jonathan Heeney’s supervision since 1st October 2014. The goal of my project, which is in collaboration with dr. Genoveffa Franchini at the National Institutes of Health, is to describe the role of antibody responses in providing protection from Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIVmac251) acquisition in vaccinated Rhesus Macaques, which represent a reliable model of HIV-1 infection in humans.
Before this, I worked as an intern in prof. Roberto Burioni’s laboratory of Microbiology and Virology at San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy, where I got my MSc in 2013. For my thesis, I characterised the biological activity of cross-neutralising monoclonal antibodies targeting Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).
My early laboratory formation started in the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Bologna, where I got my BSc in 2011. Under the supervision of prof. Fabio Gentilini, I learnt to apply the PCR technique to investigate the nature of genetic mutations.
Subject groups/Research projects
Our goal is to describe the mucosal antibody responses elicited by ALVAC-SIV/gp120 vaccination in models of Rhesus macaque, which accurately replicate the infection of HIV in humans. In particular, I focus on the Fc region of SIV/gp120 V1/V2-specific antibodies cloned from the rectal mucosa of animals protected from infection, and aim to define how different Fc profiles correlate with protection.
Sautto G1, Mancini N, Gorini G, Clementi M, Burioni R. Possible future monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based therapy against arbovirus infections (2013). Biomed Res Int.