Microbiology & Immunology Adjunct Faculty
Luis D. Giavedoni, Ph.D.
My principal research interests include the study of viral infections and the development of vaccines against such infections, with emphasis in understanding the innate and adaptive immune responses to retroviral infections in natural and experimental animal models. We study the role of cytokines and co-stimulatory proteins, molecules that mediate communication between the immune system and the whole organism. My laboratory has been developing reagents for the identification of cytokines in nonhuman primates and also studying the potential use of these molecules to modify the outcome of immune responses.
Ongoing projects in AIDS vaccine development in my laboratory utilize the rhesus macaque/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) model. One such collaborative project includes the use of nanoparticle technology to deliver SIV genetic material to mucosal surfaces of the macaques. This vaccination was able to prime the immune system so that animals reacted with stronger immune responses when they were boosted with a second vaccine that consisted of a viral vector expressing the same genetic material included in the first vaccine. When the vaccinated monkeys were exposed to an infectious SIV, half of the animals resisted infection. These very encouraging results will be repeated in a larger and more controlled study. Another AIDS-related project also involves nanoparticle technology, but in this case the particles carry small nucleic acids that are designed to bind and inactivate the viral genome within infected cells. My laboratory has identified four different molecules that can inhibit SIV replication, which would reduce the chances for viral escape. A third project involves the creation of novel vaccines based in chimeric proteins that can simultaneously induce and stimulate an immune response. These chimeric proteins are composed of one of the SIV glycoproteins fused to a protein used by cells of the immune system to increase antibody production. A couple of these chimeric proteins have been shown to have the capacity to stimulate macaque cells. Finally, in collaboration with scientists from the Department of Genetics, my lab is trying to identify the mechanisms that allow certain monkey species to resist natural infection with SIV; it is believed that understanding these mechanisms may lead to new therapeutics treatments for HIV-infected individuals.
My laboratory also serves as the Immunology Core Laboratory for the SNPRC; we support the work of other scientists by: 1) providing assays based in flow cytometry for the characterization of blood cell subsets and the determination of cell mediated activity (T-cell proliferation, cytotoxic and natural killer cell activity) in nonhuman primate species; 2) providing methodologies for the simultaneous determination of multiple cytokines and chemokines in biological fluids derived from nonhuman primate species; and 3) providing a service for genotyping selected MHC class I alleles in Indian rhesus macaques. We are also participants in the NIH Nonhuman Primate Reagent Resource.
Durudas, A., Chen, H.L., Gasper, M.A., Sundaravaradan, V., Milush, J.M., Silvestri, G., Johnson, W., Giavedoni, L.D. and Sodora, D.L. (2011) Differential Innate Immune Responses to Low or High Dose Oral SIV Challenge in Rhesus Macaques. Curr HIV Res.
Pascutti, M.F., Rodriguez, A.M., Falivene, J., Giavedoni, L., Drexler, I. and Gherardi, M.M. (2011) Interplay between modified vaccinia virus Ankara and dendritic cells: phenotypic and functional maturation of bystander dendritic cells. J Virol 85, 5532-45.
Sariol, C.A., Martinez, M.I., Rivera, F., Rodriguez, I.V., Pantoja, P., Abel, K., Arana, T., Giavedoni, L., Hodara, V., White, L.J., Anglero, Y.I., Montaner, L.J. and Kraiselburd, E.N. (2011) Decreased dengue replication and an increased anti-viral humoral response with the use of combined Toll-like receptor 3 and 7/8 agonists in macaques. PLoS One 6, e19323.
Waleh, N., Seidner, S., McCurnin, D., Giavedoni, L., Hodara, V., Goelz, S., Liu, B.M., Roman, C. and Clyman, R.I. (2011) Anatomic Closure of the Premature Patent Ductus Arteriosus: The Role of CD14+/CD163+ Mononuclear Cells and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in Neointimal Mound Formation. Pediatr Res. 70, 332-338.
1995-present Ad Hoc reviewer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sustaining Animal Health and Well-Being Program
1999-present National Agency of Scientific and Technological Promotion of Argentina
07/1999-present Member, AIDS Coordinating Committee of the National Primate Research Centers
06/2000-present Visiting Professor, School of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences, University of Litoral,
Santa Fe, Argentina
09/2000-present Member, Committee on Graduate Studies, Department of Microbiology, University of Texas
Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA)
2006-2010 Member, NIH AIDS vaccines Study Section (VACC)
2010-2011 Ad Hoc reviewer, NIH NIAID, Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development
05/2011 Ad Hoc reviewer, NIH/NIAID, Resource Related Research Projects for AIDS, Allergy,
Immunology and Transplantation (R24).
06/1999-present Member, Research Advisory Committee, Southwest National Primate Research Center
1997-present Member, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Texas Biomed
2006-present Vice-chairman, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Texas Biomed
2009-present Member, Human Resources Advisory Committee
Member, SNPRC Macaque Advisory Committee
Member, External Professional Activities Committee
Click on the following link for additional information on Dr. Giavedoni:
M & I Graduate Student in Dr. Giavedoni's Lab
- Valerie Sexton