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Human Antibody Responses to SARS-CoV-2

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm


Michel C. Nussenzweig, M.D., Ph.D.
Zanvil A. Cohn and Ralph M. Steinman Professor
Senior Physician
The Rockefeller University

Nussenzweig’s laboratory studies the molecular aspects of the immune system’s innate and adaptive responses using a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics. For work on adaptive immunity, he focuses on B lymphocytes and antibodies to HIV-1, while his studies of innate immunity focus on dendritic cells. His work is leading to new antibody-based therapies for infections by HIV and the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, among other viruses. A second focus of Nussenzweig’s lab is on dendritic cells, which elicit adaptive immune responses by taking up antigens and presenting them to lymphocytes. Current studies focus on outlining the pathway of human dendritic cell development and differentiation.


Dr. Nussenzweig will speak about the development of antibody responses focusing on neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoViD-2. Over a decade ago, the Nussenzweig laboratory developed methods for rapid antibody cloning from humans in order to understand humoral immune responses to pathogens beginning with HIV-1. These methods have been widely adapted by others facilitating antibody cloning for multiple human pathogens and their clinical development. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic a group of 148 individuals that had recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection were recruited to Rockefeller University to give blood for analysis. The lecture will summarize features of their humoral immune response in these individuals and their neutralizing properties in vitro and in animal models.

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