Jodi K. Craigo, PhD
9026 Biomedical Science Tower 3
3501 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
My research started in the characterization of lentiviral persistence and pathogenesis, conducted through evolutionary studies of both HIV and EIAV sequence analysis. Our evolutionary analysis of lentiviral populations via quasispecies sequence analysis included determinations of phenotypic differences of conserved and immunodominant regions of protein variation utilizing multiple computational avenues including: phylogenetics, divergence and selection analyses, and compartmentalization analyses (including Slatkin-Maddison, Mantel and GeneFlow computations). A major focus of our lentiviral research in the last decade was animal models of AIDS vaccines. Our lentiviral vaccine development included various modalities such as live attenuated, viral vector and virus like particle vaccines. Our vaccine research applied what we learn from pathogenesis studies into mechanisms of protection and results ultimately in the implementation of the new candidate vaccines into trials. In addition to the development of vaccine candidates, we also focused on the creation of new, rigorous virus challenge models. A major focus of my independent research focused on the detailed characterization of dynamic antigen-antibody interactions that included analyzing protective/non-protective immune system responses; specifically utilizing SPR analysis for the development of novel immune assays and characterizations of the structure:function relationship to correlates of protection. Most recently my research has shifted focus, to: 1) the development of antimicrobial peptides against drug-resistant bacteria and utilizing SPR to dissect peptide-membrane interactions and evaluate mechanisms of efficacy; and, (2) the development of high specificity, high-throughput, time-resolving peptoid-based diagnostics for Zika Virus infection.
Anthea Bouwer, Postdoctoral Associate