Rama R. Amara, PhD


Microbiology and Immunology

ARTDTP Research Discipline

The goal of Dr. Amara’s laboratory is to develop vaccines for HIV/AIDS. His efforts are focused on developing both prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. His approach to developing a prophylactic vaccine is to generate strong anti-viral antibody responses and cytotoxic T cell responses. The laboratory uses recombinant DNA and modified vaccinia Ankara (current smallpox vaccine) as vaccine delivery vectors. A HIV vaccine based on these vectors was shown to be safe in healthy human volunteers and is currently being tested for immunogenicity in humans. Newer versions of this vaccine have been developed and these vaccines elicited stronger humoral immune responses and protected nearly 60-70% of the vaccinated rhesus macaques completely from repeated SIV infections. These newer versions of vaccines are about to enter human safety trials. 

ARTDTP Faculty Collaborators

Rafi Ahmed, PhD

Cheryl L. Day, PhD

Jyothi Rengarajan, PhD

Thomas M. Shinnick, PhD