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Andrea Sant, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-9798

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments



Our research seeks to understand the elements in vivo that dictate the selective specificities and effector functions of CD4 T cells during protective immune responses to pathogenic organisms, with a particular commitment overcoming the challenges associated with protective immunity to influenza virus. We are heavily focused on the role that CD4 T cells play in immunity to influenza virus because of the multiplicity of contributions that they make in protective immunity to influenza, including help for high affinity antibody production, enhancement of CD8 T cell expansion, function and memory, acceleration of the early innate response to infection and direct tissue localized cytotoxicity.

The influenza-specific CD4 T cell repertoire in humans is established through periodic exposures to infection and vaccination that each lead to distinct signatures of CD4 T cell memory. Our data suggests that the CD4 T cell repertoire specific for influenza viruses are highly variable in abundance, specificity and functionality. It is our hypothesis that deficits in particular subsets of CD4 T cells recruited into the response are associated with less robust or effective antibody responses and diminished protection mediated by the cellular components of the adaptive immune response. Accordingly, our laboratory seeks to develop and analyze improved strategies for human vaccination and to the development of molecular strategies to both foster protective immunity in the host and to dissect both predictors and correlates of protective immunity to vaccines and virus infections.

Recently accepted papers

DiPiazza, A.T, Fan, S, Rattan, Chaves, F., Newmann, G., Kawaoka, Y. and Sant, A.J. 2019. A novel vaccine strategy to overcome poor immunogenicity of avian influenza vaccines through mobilization of memory CD4 T cells established by seasonal influenza. J. Immunol. In press

Richards, K. A, Shannon, I, Treanor, J.J. Yang, H, Nayak, J. Sant, A.J. 2019. Evidence that blunted CD4 T cell responses underlie deficient antibody responses to influenza vaccines in repeatedly vaccinated human subjects. Journal of Infectious Diseases, In press

Rattan, A. Richards, K.A., Knowlden, Z.A. and Sant, A.J. 2019. Protein vaccination directed the CD4 T cell response towards shared protective epitopes that can be recalled after influenza infection. Journal of Virology, In press



BA | SUNY College at Oswego
Chemistry and Biology

PhD | Washington University


AAI Awards Committee

Section Editor
Sponsor: Journal of Immunology

Ad Hoc reviewer
Sponsor: CMI-A study Section

Ad Hoc reviewer
Sponsor: CMI-B Study Section

Ad Hoc reviewer
Sponsor: NIH VMD Study Section

2005 - 2007
Sponsor: Cellular and Molecular Immunology (CMI-B) Study Section

2003 - 2005
Ad Hoc reviewer
Sponsor: NIH/NIAID Immunobiology Study Section

2002 - Present
Elected to Faculty of 1000 in Immunology

Ad Hoc reviewer
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health Study Sections

Breast Cancer Study Section
Sponsor: Department of Army

Ad Hoc reviewer
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health Study Sections

Study Section
Sponsor: Department of Defense

Breast Cancer Study Section
Sponsor: Department of Army

Study Section
Sponsor: Department of Defense

1996 - 1999
Study Section Co-Chair
Sponsor: American Heart Association

1996 - 1997
Sponsor: Arthritis Foundation Study Section (Co Chair 1996)

1994 - 1996
Ad Hoc reviewer
Sponsor: American Cancer Society Study Section

1994 - 1995
Ad Hoc reviewer
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health Study Sections

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

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Journal Articles

Henson TR, Richards KA, Gandhapudi SK, Woodward JG, Sant AJ. "R-DOTAP Cationic Lipid Nanoparticles Outperform Squalene-Based Adjuvant Systems in Elicitation of CD4 T Cells after Recombinant Influenza Hemagglutinin Vaccination." Viruses.. 2023 Feb 15; 15(2)Epub 2023 Feb 15.

Nelson SA, Richards KA, Glover MA, Chaves FA, Crank MC, Graham BS, Kanekiyo M, Sant AJ. "CD4 T cell epitope abundance in ferritin core potentiates responses to hemagglutinin nanoparticle vaccines." NPJ vaccines.. 2022 Oct 26; 7(1):124. Epub 2022 Oct 26.

Sant AJ, Stern LJ. "Editorial overview: The life and times of peptide-MHC." Current opinion in immunology.. 2022 Sep 28; 78:102244. Epub 2022 Sep 28.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: The Mechanics of Class II Processing: Establishment of a Class II Hierarchy
Book Title: Immunodominance: The Choice of the Immune System
Author List: Drake J; Sant AJ
Edited By: J Frelinger
Published By: Wiley-VCH 2006

Chapter Title: Intracellular events regulating MHC Class II restricted antigen presentation
Book Title: Antigen Processing and Presentation
Author List: Sant, AJ, Chervonsky, A, Dykhuizen, M, Katz, JF, Loss, GE, Stebbins, C, and LJ Tan
Edited By: S Pierce and R Humphreys
Published By: Academic Press 1994

Chapter Title: la structure and immune recognition
Book Title: Processing and Presentation of Antigens
Author List: Germain, RN, Braunstein, NS, Lechler, RI, Miller, J, Ronchese, F, and Sant, AJ
Edited By: B Pernis, S Silverstein, and H Vogel
Published By: Academic Press NY 1988