Ralph Pantophlet

Professor CIHR New Investigator, MSFHR Scholar

Health Sciences

Ralph Pantophlet

Professor, CIHR New Investigator, MSFHR Scholar

Health Sciences

Areas of interest

Molecular biology, infectious diseases immunology, antiviral antibody responses, HIV/AIDS


  • B.Sc., Polytechnic Faculty, Hogeschool Rotterdam (University of Applied Sciences), The Netherlands
  • Ph.D., University of Leiden, The Netherlands/Research Center Borstel, Germany


Dr. Pantophlet is a tenured Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences and an Associate Faculty member of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. Pantophlet joined the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2008 and heads the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases Immunology. Dr. Pantophlet is currently also the scientific director of SFU’s Containment Level 3 (CL3) Laboratory.

Dr. Pantophlet received his B.Sc. degree in medical microbiology from the Hogeschool Rotterdam & Omstreken (The Netherlands) (1995) and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Leiden (The Netherlands) (1999) for his work on the immunochemical properties of Acinetobacter lipopolysaccharides (performed at the Research Center Borstel, Germany). He moved to The Scripps Research Institute in California (2000) for postdoctoral research on anti-HIV antibodies and vaccine design under the mentorship of Dr. Dennis Burton. Dr. Pantophlet returned to the Research Center Borstel for a brief postdoctoral period (2002) and then rejoined the Burton laboratory as a senior postdoctoral fellow to focus on HIV vaccine design (2003).

Research interests

Research in the Pantophlet laboratory is focused on investigating antibody responses to HIV, influenza virus, HCMV and coronaviruses, particularly in the context of anti-viral antibody responses to infection and immunization or vaccination. Knowledge gained from studying the interactions of antibodies with the surface glycoproteins of these viruses is applied to the design of immunogens that may be developed into modern pre-clinical vaccine candidates and, ultimately, new and better vaccines. Techniques based on various scientific disciplines, including molecular biology, virology, biochemistry, and immunochemistry, are applied frequently in the laboratory.

Teaching interests

Dr. Pantophlet has experience teaching advanced laboratory courses in immunology, senior undergraduate seminars in infectious diseases and vaccine immunology, and lower-division undergraduate courses on infectious and immunological diseases.


Future courses may be subject to change.

Publications and activities

View Dr. Ralph Pantophlet's publications here.