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William J. Bowers, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (315) 312-5631

Faculty Appointments



The Bowers laboratory is interested in assessing the contribution of inflammation in the context of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathophysiology. Novel transgenic modeling and gene transfer-based methodologies are being employed to experimentally control the expression and/or activity of potent inflammatory cytokines/chemokines due to their purported role(s) in brain inflammation and neurodegeneration. Elucidating the role of inflammation in the AD pathogenic cascade will undoubtedly result in the development of novel diagnostic methodologies and stage-specific therapeutics. The laboratory's line of research addresses both the role of inflammation temporally and spatially in pathogenesis as well as examines the interplay between disease-modifying therapies and inflammation to either slow or exacerbate neurodegeneration. The laboratory also develops novel vaccines and therapeutics based upon the Herpes simplex virus (HSV) amplicon vector platform for future clinical implementation. Amplicon vectors are attractive because they may be manipulated to express virtually any combination of genes and possess the largest transgene capacity of any virus vector in current use. The laboratory continues to refine amplicon-based therapeutics in preclinical disease models and is currently engaged in translation of amplicon-based therapies for Phase I clinical trial evaluation. The laboratory has recently adapted the amplicon vector platform for efficient and long-term molecular manipulation of neural stem cells during embryogenesis in situ, thus providing a novel and robust means for gene replacement/repair in neurodegenerative diseases arising during early mammalian development.



BS | Rochester Inst Technology

MS | University of Rochester

PhD | University of Rochester

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

1995 - 1998
Improvement of herpes simplex virus amplicon vectors for therapeutic gene delivery to the CNS


1997 - 1998
Development of Improved HSV Amplicon Vectors NIH Individual NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship: #1-F2-NS10299-01

1996 - 1997
Murine Cardiac Neural Crest Derivatives: Examining the Developmental Role for NGF American Heart Association-NYS Affiliate Postdoctoral Fellowship:" #960102

1992 - 1995
Pathogenesis of Bacteria and Viruses NIH Predoctoral Training Grant: #5-T32-AI07362

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Journal Articles

Chepelev NL, Long AS, Bowers WJ, Gagné R, Williams A, Kuo B, Phillips DH, Arlt VM, White PA, Yauk CL. "Transcriptional profiling of the mouse hippocampus supports an NMDAR-mediated neurotoxic mode of action for benzo[a]pyrene." Environmental and molecular mutagenesis.. 2016 Jun 0; 57(5):350-63. Epub 2016 May 19.

Evans EE, Jonason AS, Bussler H, Torno S, Veeraraghavan J, Reilly C, Doherty MA, Seils J, Winter LA, Mallow C, Kirk R, Howell A, Giralico S, Scrivens M, Klimatcheva K, Fisher TL, Bowers WJ, Paris M, Smith ES, Zauderer M. "Antibody Blockade of Semaphorin 4D Promotes Immune Infiltration into Tumor and Enhances Response to Other Immunomodulatory Therapies." Cancer immunology research.. 2015 Jun 0; 3(6):689-701. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Southwell AL, Franciosi S, Villanueva EB, Xie Y, Winter LA, Veeraraghavan J, Jonason A, Felczak B, Zhang W, Kovalik V, Waltl S, Hall G, Pouladi MA, Smith ES, Bowers WJ, Zauderer M, Hayden MR. "Anti-semaphorin 4D immunotherapy ameliorates neuropathology and some cognitive impairment in the YAC128 mouse model of Huntington disease." Neurobiology of disease.. 2015 Apr 0; 76:46-56. Epub 2015 Feb 03.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Application to gene therapy and vaccination.
Book Title: Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Author List: Bowers, W.J.; Janelsins, M.C.; Federoff, H.J.
Edited By: Ikezu, T.; Gendelman, H.
Published By: Springer 2007 in New York, NY

Chapter Title: Immunotherapeutic approaches for Alzheimer's disease
Book Title: Gene Therapy for Neurological Disorders
Author List: Bowers, W.J.; Federoff, H.J.
Edited By: Lowenstein, P.; Castro, M.
Published By: Taylor and Francis 2006 in New York, NY

Chapter Title: Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1-derived Amplicon Vectors
Book Title: Gene Transfer: Delivery and Expression of DNA and RNA
Author List: Bowers, W.J.; Federoff, H.J.
Edited By: Friedmann, T.; Rossi, J.
Published By: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 2006 in Cold Spring Harbor, NY