Amanda Burkhardt, Ph.D.
Amanda is Assistant Adjunct Professor in the School of Medicine
The goal of our research is to understand immune responses elicited by Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) agonist based adjuvants and then use this knowledge to tailor specific and protective immune reactions. Adjuvants trigger the innate immune system and have significant effects on whether the resulting immune response generates long lasting protection against the immunizing antigen or pathogen. One example of this is an adjuvant’s ability to enhance B cell diversity, which increases the breadth of antigens that can be recognized. TLR agonists are currently used as adjuvants in several vaccines that are currently on the market, including GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine against cervical cancer Cervarix. We are interested in understanding how different combinations of TLR agonists can stimulate diverse immune reactions and then translate this knowledge into generating immune responses that will be specifically appropriate and protective for a wide range of pathogens, including the causative agent of Q-fever, Coxiella burnetii.
3012 Hewitt Hall
3101 Hewitt Hall