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. 76 available »

2014 Jan
Alam S, Knowlden ZA, Sangster MY, Sant AJ. "CD4 T cell help is limiting and selective during the primary B cell response to influenza virus infection." Journal of virology. 2014 Jan; 88(1):314-24. Epub 2013 Oct 23.
2013 Aug 1
Nayak JL, Alam S, Sant AJ. "Cutting edge: Heterosubtypic influenza infection antagonizes elicitation of immunological reactivity to hemagglutinin." The Journal of immunology : official journal of the American Association of Immunologists. 2013 Aug 1; 191(3):1001-5. Epub 2013 Jun 21.
2013 Jul 15
Tung J, Sant AJ. "Orchestration of CD4 T cell epitope preferences after multipeptide immunization." The Journal of immunology : official journal of the American Association of Immunologists. 2013 Jul 15; 191(2):764-72. Epub 2013 Jun 14.
2013 Jan 15
Nayak JL, Fitzgerald TF, Richards KA, Yang H, Treanor JJ, Sant AJ. "CD4+ T-cell expansion predicts neutralizing antibody responses to monovalent, inactivated 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus subtype H1N1 vaccine." The Journal of infectious diseases. 2013 Jan 15; 207(2):297-305. Epub 2012 Nov 12.
Weilhammer DR, Blanchette CD, Fischer NO, Alam S, Loots GG, Corzett M, Thomas C, Lychak C, Dunkle AD, Ruitenberg JJ, Ghanekar SA, Sant AJ, Rasley A. "The use of nanolipoprotein particles to enhance the immunostimulatory properties of innate immune agonists against lethal influenza challenge." Biomaterials. 2013 34(38):10305-18. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

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