Dr. Philip L. Felgner has pioneered a high throughput cloning and protein microarray chip fabrication approach that is useful for profiling immunoreactivity on a large scale and he directs the UCI Applied Proteomics Research Laboratory (APRL). Using a special high throughput recombination method developed in the lab, APRL scientists have cloned more than 30,000 plasmids derived from 30 infectious microorganisms, expressed and printed the encoded proteins on microarrays. The arrays have been probed an inventory of more than 9,000 sera from infected, vaccinated and healthy people worldwide and immunodominant and serodiagnostic antigens have been derived from each agent. De. Felgner's lab is funded to expand the inventory to 60,000 plasmid and protein targets from 50 different infectious agents. The goal of this research activity is to develop a more detailed understanding of how the immune system responds to medically important infectious organisms, and to identify serodiagnostic and subunit vaccine antigens. ~The Felgener lab has fabricated and probed over 18,000 proteome microarrays for viruses: HIV 1&2 (5 subtype, 4 clades), HPV (11 types), Vaccinia, Variola, Monkeypox, HSV-1 & 2, VZV (HHV-3), Dengue (4 types), West Nile Virus and Chikungunya virus bacterial species, Brucella melitensis, Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia muridarum, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Francisella tularensis, Coxiella burnetii, Borrelia burgdorferi, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Salomnella typhi, Rickettsia prowazekii, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Bartonella henselae and Leptospira interrogans and parasites: P. falciparum, P. vivax and S. mansoni ~Dr. Felgner's work is an ongoing collaboration with research and clinical scientists from more than 30 institutions worldwide and his lab has published 26 papers with these investigators in the last few years. (1-26) Taken together the results from this work show that in addition to identifying vaccine and serodiagnostic antigen candidates the protein microarrays are a rapid and accurate approach for defining immunogenicity of vaccine formulations, for distinguishing vaccine "take", determining the level and longevity of protection, and identifying correlates of protection and surrogate endpoints in animal models and in man. Other applications under investigation are protein-protein interaction studies, kinase substrate screening, hybridoma screening and immunodominant T cell antigen screening. More recently APRL has begun fabrication of the first human proteome microarray containing 17,526 non-redundant proteins encoded on the human genome. The array will be probed with more than 10,000 cancer patient specimens from 17 common cancers and 3,000 healthy controls, to determine disease specific autoantibody profiles associated with each cancer. APRL is an approved recharge unit that does projects at a fixed price approved by the University of California. We are linked with the Pacific Southwest Regional Center for Biodefense (PSWRCE) and maintain the Protein Microarray Core for the Center. A small business, Antigen Discovery Inc., has licensed the technology from the University and manages commercial aspects.
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