Honors & News
April 11, 2007
Last week, NIH announced that it would fund six Centers nationally to study the flu. Under the leadership of Drs. John Treanor and David Topham, and with the expertise of a large number of faculty co-investigators, Rochester will be one of these Centers. Over the next seven years, we will receive $26 million to conduct studies that will improve our understanding of the biology of the virus and of our immune response to influenza viruses and vaccines.
July 26, 2006
GlaxoSmithKline's bird flu vaccine contains a new type of adjuvant, or compound, that boosts the body's immune response. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has hesitated to approve adjuvants, said David Topham, a microbiology professor at the University of Rochester, as they can cause side effects such as swelling and tenderness.
You don't want to put anything in a healthy person that can cause a problem,Topham said.
March 22, 2006
What stops the bird flu? Viruses infect cells by latching on to receptor molecules on the cell surface. Flu viruses bind to sialic acid (SA) receptors. Most H5N1 viruses - there are now many strains - need a receptor in the alpha2,3Gal configuration. In humans, only deep lung cells carry that SA configuration. Nose, throat, and sinus cells have SA in the alpha2,6Gal configuration.
If that doesn't sound very different, it isn't. It would only take a few small mutations for the bird flu virus to be able to latch on to human cells.
Flu expert David Topham, Ph.D., of the University of Rochester, N.Y., says this part of the flu virus mutates rapidly.
It is relatively easy for the bird flu virus to accommodate such a thing,Topham tells WebMD.
And when people get the infection deep in the lung, there would be selective pressure on the virus to acquire this mutation. So this adaptation to humans might not have to happen in another species. It might occur in humans.
March 1, 2006
Noelle Polakos Receives GWIS Travel and Conference Award
February 20, 2004
Researchers at the University of Rochester have identified a protein in the immune system that appears to play a crucial role in protecting against deadly forms of influenza, and may be particularly important in protecting against emerging flu viruses like the avian flu. The researchers believe that a vaccine made with a live but weakened strain of flu virus – such as the inhaled flu vaccine introduced last year – may activate this part of the immune system and offer the best defense against avian flu.
The findings demonstrate that when confronted by a potentially deadly flu strain, an effective first strike by T cells in the lungs can mean the difference between life and death. To immunologist David Topham, Ph.D., assistant professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester and lead author of the study, the findings reveal something else: a shortcoming in the world's most widely administered flu vaccines.
November 5, 2002
Rochester doctors and nurses have been chosen to lead the largest study of smallpox vaccine to date, a nationwide study of approximately 900 patients that will be conducted at seven sites around the country, including Rochester. Approximately 200 people in the Rochester area who were vaccinated against the disease as children will receive a booster shot as part of the study. John Treanor, M.D., associate professor of medicine and director of the medical center’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit, will lead the national study, coordinating doctors at all seven sites and guiding the effort to evaluate the results.
Besides Treanor, scientists involved in this study are immunologists David Topham, Ph.D., and Tim Mosmann, Ph.D., of the David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology; and molecular biologist Mark Sullivan, Ph.D., of the Center for Human Genetics and Molecular Pediatric Disease.
- The B cell response and hemagglutinin stalk-reactive antibody production in different age cohorts following 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccination. Clin Vaccine Immunol. In press. (2013 Apr 10).
- Heterovariant cross-reactive B-cell responses induced by the 2009 pandemic influenza virus A subtype H1N1 vaccine. J Infect Dis. 207, 288-96. (2013 Jan 15).
- Stability of T cell phenotype and functional assays following heparinized umbilical cord blood collection. Cytometry A. 81, 937-49. (2012 Nov 01).