Dennis R. BURTON, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA and Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Charlestown, USA
“Classical strategies in HIV vaccine design have failed and alternate approaches based on understanding the interaction of the virus with broadly neutralizing antibodies are beginning to reveal their potential.”
Dennis Burton is Professor of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California; Member of the Steering Committee of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard; Scientific Director of the Neutralizing Antibody Consortium of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Director of the NIH Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery at The Scripps Research Institute. He received a B.A. degree in Chemistry from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. degree in nuclear magnetic resonance in biology from the University of Lund, Sweden. His early work focused on understanding antibody effector function and he was one of the co-discoverers of the complement and Fc receptor binding sites on immunoglobulin G.
At Scripps, Burton described the first recombinant antibodies isolated from phage libraries in the laboratory of Richard Lerner. In his own laboratory, he pioneered the isolation of human antibodies from immune donors, most notably from a variety of viral infections including HIV, HCV, RSV and Ebola virus. For HIV, he defined many of the anti-viral activities of human antibodies in vitro and in vivo. He also helped describe the structural basis for neutralization by several prototype broadly neutralizing antibodies together with Ian Wilson. He was an early champion of the rational vaccine design approach to highly variable and difficult pathogens such as HIV, HCV and influenza virus.
More recently, Burton has been at the forefront of generating novel highly potent broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV that are re-invigorating the attempts to design an HIV vaccine via rational structure-based strategies.
He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, was a Jenner Fellow of the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, has received two NIH Merit awards and has given several named lectures including the Bernard Fields Lecture of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).
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