Andrea Sant, Ph.D.

Andrea Sant, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 609
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-9798
Lab: (585) 273-5385

Research Bio

The defining feature of the immune system is its ability to distinguish self from non-self. The major component of the immune system responsible for this self / non-self discrimination is the diverse repertoire of antigen-specific T lymphocytes. T cell receptors can only recognize antigens derived from pathogens or transformed cells if these antigens in the derived peptide fragments of pathogenic protieins combine with Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules.

The research in my laboratory centers around the molecular events that regulate MHC class II-restricted antigen presentation and CD4 T cell activation in vivo. We are particularly focussed on making connections between the mechanisms involved in intracellular peptide acquisition by class II molecules and use of this insight to rationally enhance human vaccine design. We seek to understand the elements in vivo that dictate the selective specificities in CD4 T cells during protective immune responses, and the competitive events that shape selective recognition of foreign and pathogenic organisms and proteins in vivo. We are also focused on understanding the regulatory events in vivo that shape the specificity and function of immune responses.

Our research interests include understanding the relationship between the biochemistry of peptide:MHC class II complexes and specificity of CD4 T cells during both protein and peptide vaccination and how this link can be harnessed to shape CD4 T cell specificity. A second major interest in our laboratory is the role of CD4 T cells in immunity to influenza infection and vaccination, using both animal models and human studies. We are particularly interested in the role that memory CD4 T cell play in protective immunity to potentially pandemic influenza strains.

Awards & Honors (National)

AAI Awards Committee 2013
Section Editor | Journal of Immunology 2013
Ad Hoc reviewer | CMI-A study Section 2013
Ad Hoc reviewer | NIH VMD Study Section 2012
Ad Hoc reviewer | CMI-B Study Section 2012
Chair | Cellular and Molecular Immunology (CMI-B) Study Section 2005 - 2007
Ad Hoc reviewer | NIH/NIAID Immunobiology Study Section 2003 - 2005
Elected to Faculty of 1000 in Immunology 2002 - Present
Ad Hoc reviewer | National Institutes of Health Study Sections 2001
Breast Cancer Study Section | Department of Army 2000
Study Section | Department of Defense 1999
Ad Hoc reviewer | National Institutes of Health Study Sections 1999
Breast Cancer Study Section | Department of Army 1998
Study Section | Department of Defense 1997
Chair | Arthritis Foundation Study Section (Co Chair 1996) 1996 - 1997
Study Section Co-Chair | American Heart Association 1996 - 1999
Ad Hoc reviewer | American Cancer Society Study Section 1994 - 1996
Ad Hoc reviewer | National Institutes of Health Study Sections 1994 - 1995

Awards & Honors (Local)

Zeisler Junior Faculty Scholars Award | $25,000 1989 - 1990

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 82 available »

2016 Jun 22
Knowlden ZA, Sant AJ. "CD4 T cell epitope specificity determines follicular versus non-follicular helper differentiation in the polyclonal response to influenza infection or vaccination." Scientific reports. 2016 Jun 22; 6:28287. Epub 2016 Jun 22.
DiPiazza A, Richards KA, Knowlden ZA, Nayak JL, Sant AJ. "The Role of CD4 T Cell Memory in Generating Protective Immunity to Novel and Potentially Pandemic Strains of Influenza." Frontiers in immunology. 2016 7:10. Epub 2016 Jan 25.
2015 Sep
Leddon SA, Richards KA, Treanor JJ, Sant AJ. "Abundance and specificity of influenza reactive circulating memory follicular helper and non-follicular helper CD4 T cells in healthy adults." Immunology. 2015 Sep; 146(1):157-62. Epub 2015 Jul 14.
2015 Jul 1
Richards KA, Nayak J, Chaves FA, DiPiazza A, Knowlden ZA, Alam S, Treanor JJ, Sant AJ. "Seasonal Influenza Can Poise Hosts for CD4 T-Cell Immunity to H7N9 Avian Influenza." The Journal of infectious diseases. 2015 Jul 1; 212(1):86-94. Epub 2014 Dec 09.
2015 May 1
Nayak JL, Richards KA, Yang H, Treanor JJ, Sant AJ. "Effect of influenza A(H5N1) vaccine prepandemic priming on CD4+ T-cell responses." The Journal of infectious diseases. 2015 May 1; 211(9):1408-17. Epub 2014 Nov 06.

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology (SMD) - Primary


PhD | Immunology | Washington University1985
BA | Chemistry and Biology | SUNY College at Oswego1977