- B.A. (Biological Sciences), Occidental College
- Ph.D. (Cellular & Molecular Biology), University of Missouri-Columbia
- M.D. Saint Louis University
My research interest is in understanding the molecular basis for antigen recognition by antibodies using peptide as probes of these interactions. My postdoctoral work involved the initial development of phage-displayed, peptide libraries for this purpose. A peptide library comprises tens of millions of short, variable, amino acid sequences that have been engineered into a viral coat protein, thereby displaying the fusion products on the surface of filamentous bacteriophage. The phage-displayed peptide is linked to an amplifiable readout, encoded on the viral genome. This allows a library to be searched with binding molecules such as antibodies, receptors and enzymes, using affinity-selection to find the rare phage displaying binding peptides. The sequences of binding peptides can be easily determined from clones isolated from affinity-enriched phage pools, by sequencing the region of phage DNA encoding the variable peptides.
As a molecular immunologist and physician, I have a strong interest in understanding how the peptide recognition profile of an antibody response may be applied to the development of vaccines and autoimmune diagnostics. One of our most interesting projects involves our search for peptides will bind to human monoclonal antibodies that kill HIV-1. We hope to create a vaccine that will elicit these same antibodies in uninfected people, and thus protect them from AIDS.
- Montero M, Gulzar N, Klaric KA, Donald JE, Lepik C, Wu S, Tsai S, Julien JP, Hessell AJ, Wang S, Lu S, Burton DR, Pai EF, Degrado WF, Scott JK., (2012) Neutralizing epitopes in the membrane-proximal external region of HIV-1 gp41 are influenced by the transmembrane domain and the plasma membrane. J. Virol. 86(6): 2930-2941.
- Breden, F, Lepik C, Longo NS, Montero M, Lipsky PE, Scott JK (2011) Comparison of antibody repertoires produced by HIV-1 infection, other chronic and acute infections, and systemic autoimmune disease. < http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21479208> PLoS One 6(3):316857 (11 pages)
- Watson CT, Steinberg KM, Huddleston J, Warren RL, Malig M, Schein J, Willsey AJ, Joy JB, Scott JK, Graves TA, Wilson RK, Holt RA, Eichler EE, Breden F. (2013) Am. J. Hum Genet. Complete Haplotype Sequence of the Human Immunoglobulin Heavy-Chain Variable, Diversity, and Joining Genes and Copy-Number Variation. 92(4): 530-546.
This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.