Ollmann Saphire Lab

Ollmann Saphire Lab

— Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. // Professor

Overview

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. is a Professor of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Her research explains, at the molecular level, how and why viruses like Ebola and Lassa are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for medical defense. Her team has solved the structures of the Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, Bundibugyo and Lassa virus glycoproteins, explained how they remodel these structures as they drive themselves into cells, how their proteins suppress immune function and where human antibodies can defeat these viruses.

A recent discovery revealed why neutralizing antibodies had been so difficult to elicit against Lassa virus, and provided not only the templates for the needed vaccine, but the molecule itself: a Lassa surface glycoprotein engineered to remain in the right conformation to inspire the needed antibody response. This molecule is the basis for international vaccine efforts against Lassa.

Dr. Saphire was also the galvanizing force behind the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium and is the Director of this organization. This consortium, an NIH-funded Center of Excellence in Translational Research, unites 44 previously competing academic, industrial and government labs across five continents to understand and provide antibody therapeutics against Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and other viruses.

Dr. Saphire’s work has been recognized at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, with young investigator awards from the International Congress of Antiviral Research, the American Society for Microbiology, and the MRC Centre for Virus Research in the United Kingdom. She has been awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar fellowship from the United States Department of State and a Mercator Fellowship from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, to develop international collaborations using cryoelectron microscopy to further global health.

From The Lab

Aug 8, 2019 // Cell

Lassa virus’ soft spot revealed

May 29, 2019

La Jolla Institute-led consortium awarded up to $35 million by NIH

May 8, 2019 // KPBS

San Diego Researchers Help With Urgent Effort To Stop Ebola In Africa

Feb 25, 2019

Leading Structural Immunologist Erica Ollmann Saphire will join La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Ollmann Saphire Lab

Publications

Viruses

Diverse morphology and structural features of old and new world hantaviruses

2019-09
Parvate A, Williams EP, Taylor MK, Chu YK, Lanman J, Saphire EO, Jonsson CB
Cell

Convergent structures illuminate features for germline antibody binding and pan-Lassa virus neutralization

2019-08
Hastie KM, Cross RW, Harkins SS, Zandonatti MA, Koval AP, Heinrich ML, Rowland MM, Robinson JE, Geisbert TW, Garry RF,…
Curr Opin Virol

Antibody therapy for Lassa fever

2019-08
Cross RW, Hastie KM, Mire CE, Robinson JE, Geisbert TW, Branco LM, Ollmann Saphire E, Garry RF
MBio

Sudan ebolavirus VP35-NP crystal structure reveals a potential target for pan-filovirus treatment

2019-07
Landeras-Bueno S, Oda SI, Norris MJ, Li Salie Z, Guenaga J, Wyatt RT, Saphire EO
Cell

Longitudinal analysis of the human B cell response to ebola virus infection

2019-05
Davis CW, Jackson KJL, McElroy AK, Halfmann P, Huang J, Chennareddy C, Piper AE, Leung Y, Albarino CG, Crozier I,…
Nat Commun

Cross-reactive neutraliing human survivor monoclonal antibody BDBV223 targets the ebolavirus stalk

2019-04
King LB, West BR, Moyer CL, Gilchuk P, Flyak A, Ilinykh PA, Bombardi R, Hui S, Huang K, Bukreyev A, Crowe JE Jr,…
Structure

A Conserved Basic Patch and Central Kink in the Nipah Virus Phosphoprotein Multimerization Domain Are Essential for Polymerase Function.

2019-02
Bruhn JF, Hotard AL, Spiropoulou CF, Lo MK, Saphire EO.
J Virol

Early human B cell response to Ebola virus in four U.S. survivors of infection.

2019-02
Williamson L, Flyak AI, Kose N, Bombardi R, Branchizio A, Reddy S, Davidson E, Doranz B, Fusco ML, Saphire EO, Halfmann…
Cell Rep

In�_Vivo Delivery of Synthetic Human DNA-Encoded Monoclonal Antibodies Protect against Ebolavirus Infection in a Mouse Model.

2018-11
Patel A, Park DH, Davis CW, Smith TRF, Leung A, Tierney K, Bryan A, Davidson E, Yu X, Racine T, Reed C, Gorman ME, Wise…
Nat Immunol

Antibody-mediated protection against Ebola virus.

2018-10
Saphire EO, Schendel SL, Gunn BM, Milligan JC, Alter G.
Mbio

Structural Basis of Pan-Ebolavirus Neutralization by a Human Antibody against a Conserved, yet Cryptic Epitope.

2018-09
West BR, Moyer CL, King LB, Fusco ML, Milligan JC, Hui S, Saphire EO.
J Infect Dis

Structural Characterization of Pan-Ebolavirus Antibody 6D6 Targeting the Fusion Peptide of the Surface Glycoprotein.

2018-09
Milligan JC, Parekh DV, Fuller KM, Igarashi M, Takada A, Saphire EO.
Cell Rep

Antibody Repertoires to the Same Ebola Vaccine Antigen Are Differentially Affected by Vaccine Vectors.

2018-08
Meyer M, Yoshida A, Ramanathan P, Saphire EO, Collins PL, Crowe JE Jr, Samal S, Bukreyev A.
J Infect Dis

Pan-Filovirus Serum Neutralizing Antibodies in a Subset of Congolese Ebolavirus Infection Survivors.

2018-08
Bramble MS, Hoff N, Gilchuk P, Mukadi P, Lu K, Doshi RH, Steffen I, Nicholson BP, Lipson A, Vashist N, Sinai C, Spencer…
Cell

Systematic Analysis of Monoclonal Antibodies against Ebola Virus GP Defines Features that Contribute to Protection.

2018-08
Saphire EO, Schendel SL, Fusco ML, Gangavarapu K, Gunn BM, Wec AZ, Halfmann PJ, Brannan JM, Herbert AS, Qiu X, Wagh K,…
Cell Host Microbe

A Role for Fc Function in Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibody-Mediated Protection against Ebola Virus.

2018-08
Gunn BM, Yu WH, Karim MM, Brannan JM, Herbert AS, Wec AZ, Halfmann PJ, Fusco ML, Schendel SL, Gangavarapu K, Krause T,…
Immunity

Multifunctional Pan-ebolavirus Antibody Recognizes a Site of Broad Vulnerability on the Ebolavirus Glycoprotein.

2018-07
Gilchuk P, Kuzmina N, Ilinykh PA, Huang K, Gunn BM, Bryan A, Davidson E, Doranz BJ, Turner HL, Fusco ML, Bramble MS,…
Curr Opin Immunol

The structural basis for filovirus neutralization by monoclonal antibodies.

2018-06
King LB, West BR, Schendel SL, Saphire EO.
Curr Opin Virol

Lassa virus glycoprotein: stopping a moving target.

2018-05
Hastie KM, Saphire EO.
Nat Microbiol

Broadly neutralizing antibodies from human survivors target a conserved site in the Ebola virus glycoprotein HR2-MPER region.

2018-05
Flyak AI, Kuzmina N, Murin CD, Bryan C, Davidson E, Gilchuk P, Gulka CP, Ilinykh PA, Shen X, Huang K, Ramanathan P,…
mSphere

Antibodies to the Glycoprotein GP2 Subunit Cross-React between Old and New World Arenaviruses.

2018-05
Amanat F, Duehr J, Oestereich L, Hastie KM, Ollmann Saphire E, Krammer F.
Sci Rep

Field validation of recombinant antigen immunoassays for diagnosis of Lassa fever.

2018-04
Boisen ML, Hartnett JN, Shaffer JG, Goba A, Momoh M, Sandi JD, Fullah M, Nelson DKS, Bush DJ, Rowland MM, Heinrich ML,…
J Biol Chem

A cationic, C-terminal patch and structural rearrangements in Ebola virus matrix VP40 protein control its interactions with phosphatidylserine.

2018-01
Del Vecchio K, Frick CT, Gc JB, Oda SI, Gerstman BS, Saphire EO, Chapagain PP, Stahelin RV.
Cell Host Microbe

The Marburgvirus-Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibody MR191 Targets a Conserved Site to Block Virus Receptor Binding.

2018-01
King LB, Fusco ML, Flyak AI, Ilinykh PA, Huang K, Gunn B, Kirchdoerfer RN, Hastie KM, Sangha AK, Meiler J, Alter G,…
Structure

Role of Non-local Interactions between CDR Loops in Binding Affinity of MR78 Antibody to Marburg Virus Glycoprotein.

2017-11
Sangha AK, Dong J, Williamson L, Hashiguchi T, Saphire EO, Crowe JE Jr, Meiler J.
Virology

Oxidation-sensitive polymersomes as vaccine nanocarriers enhance humoral responses against Lassa virus envelope glycoprotein.

2017-10
Galan-Navarro C, Rincon-Restrepo M, Zimmer G, Ollmann Saphire E, Hubbell JA, Hirosue S, Swartz MA, Kunz S.
Curr Top Microbiol Immunol

Filovirus Structural Biology: The Molecules in the Machine.

2017-08
Kirchdoerfer RN, Wasserman H, Amarasinghe GK, Saphire EO.
Science

Structural basis for antibody-mediated neutralization of Lassa virus.

2017-06
Hastie KM, Zandonatti MA, Kleinfelter LM, Heinrich ML, Rowland MM, Chandran K, Branco LM, Robinson JE, Garry RF,…
Nature

How to turn competitors into collaborators.

2017-01
Saphire EO, Dye JM, Kobinger GP, Zeitlin L, Chandran K, Garry RF.
J Virol

Crystal Structure of the Marburg Virus VP35 Oligomerization Domain.

2016-11
Bruhn JF, Kirchdoerfer RN, Urata SM, Li S, Tickle IJ, Bricogne G, Saphire EO.
PLoS Pathog

The Ebola Virus VP30-NP Interaction Is a Regulator of Viral RNA Synthesis.

2016-10
Kirchdoerfer RN, Moyer CL, Abelson DM, Saphire EO.
Science

A "Trojan horse" bispecific-antibody strategy for broad protection against ebolaviruses.

2016-09
Wec AZ, Nyakatura EK, Herbert AS, Howell KA, Holtsberg FW, Bakken RR, Mittler E, Christin JR, Shulenin S, Jangra RK,…
J Infect Dis

Analytical Validation of the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test for Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Ebola Virus Infection.

2016-09
Cross RW, Boisen ML, Millett MM, Nelson DS, Oottamasathien D, Hartnett JN, Jones AB, Goba A, Momoh M, Fullah M,…
Nat Microbiol

Structures of Ebola virus GP and sGP in complex with therapeutic antibodies.

2016-08
Pallesen J, Murin CD, de Val N, Cottrell CA, Hastie KM, Turner HL, Fusco ML, Flyak AI, Zeitlin L, Crowe JE Jr, Andersen…
Annu Rev Virol

More than Meets the Eye: Hidden Structures in the Proteome.

2016-08
Wasserman H, Saphire EO.
J Infect Dis

An Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in the Lassa Fever Zone.

2016-07
Goba A, Khan SH, Fonnie M, Fullah M, Moigboi A, Kovoma A, Sinnah V, Yoko N, Rogers H, Safai S, Momoh M, Koroma V,…
Trends Microbiol

Feverish Quest for Ebola Immunotherapy: Straight or Cocktail?

2016-06
Saphire EO, Aman MJ.
Nat Commun

Most neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies target novel epitopes requiring both Lassa virus glycoprotein subunits.

2016-05
Robinson JE, Hastie KM, Cross RW, Yenni RE, Elliott DH, Rouelle JA, Kannadka CB, Smira AA, Garry CE, Bradley BT, Yu H,…
Cell Rep

Antibody Treatment of Ebola and Sudan Virus Infection via a Uniquely Exposed Epitope within the Glycoprotein Receptor-Binding Site.

2016-05
Howell KA, Qiu X, Brannan JM, Bryan C, Davidson E, Holtsberg FW, Wec AZ, Shulenin S, Biggins JE, Douglas R, Enterlein…
Nat Struct Mol Biol

Crystal structure of the prefusion surface glycoprotein of the prototypic arenavirus LCMV.

2016-04
Hastie KM, Igonet S, Sullivan BM, Legrand P, Zandonatti MA, Robinson JE, Garry RF, Rey FA, Oldstone MB, Saphire EO.
Sci Transl Med

Two-mAb cocktail protects macaques against the Makona variant of Ebola virus.

2016-03
Qiu X, Audet J, Lv M, He S, Wong G, Wei H, Luo L, Fernando L, Kroeker A, Fausther Bovendo H, Bello A, Li F, Ye P,…
J Virol

Crystal Structure of the Oligomeric Form of Lassa Virus Matrix Protein Z.

2016-02
Hastie KM, Zandonatti M, Liu T, Li S, Woods VL Jr, Saphire EO.
Science

Isolation of potent neutralizing antibodies from a survivor of the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak.

2016-02
Bornholdt ZA, Turner HL, Murin CD, Li W, Sok D, Souders CA, Piper AE, Goff A, Shamblin JD, Wollen SE, Sprague TR, Fusco…
Mbio

Host-Primed Ebola Virus GP Exposes a Hydrophobic NPC1 Receptor-Binding Pocket, Revealing a Target for Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies.

2016-02
Bornholdt ZA, Ndungo E, Fusco ML, Bale S, Flyak AI, Crowe JE Jr, Chandran K, Saphire EO.
Cell

Cross-Reactive and Potent Neutralizing Antibody Responses in Human Survivors of Natural Ebolavirus Infection.

2016-01
Flyak AI, Shen X, Murin CD, Turner HL, David JA, Fusco ML, Lampley R, Kose N, Ilinykh PA, Kuzmina N, Branchizio A, King…
J Virol

Crystal Structure of Marburg Virus VP40 Reveals a Broad, Basic Patch for Matrix Assembly and a Requirement of the N-Terminal Domain for Immunosuppression.

2015-12
Oda S, Noda T, Wijesinghe KJ, Halfmann P, Bornholdt ZA, Abelson DM, Armbrust T, Stahelin RV, Kawaoka Y, Saphire EO.
Cell

Potent Antibody Protection against an Emerging Alphavirus Threat.

2015-11
Kielian M, Saphire EO.
J Virol

Pan-ebolavirus and Pan-filovirus Mouse Monoclonal Antibodies: Protection against Ebola and Sudan Viruses.

2015-10
Holtsberg FW, Shulenin S, Vu H, Howell KA, Patel SJ, Gunn B, Karim M, Lai JR, Frei JC, Nyakatura EK, Zeitlin L, Douglas…
PLoS Pathog

Correction: Protective mAbs and Cross-Reactive mAbs Raised by Immunization with Engineered Marburg Virus GPs.

2015-10
Fusco ML, Hashiguchi T, Cassan R, Biggins JE, Murin CD, Warfield KL, Li S, Holtsberg FW, Shulenin S, Vu H, Olinger GG,…
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Swift antibodies to counter emerging viruses.

2015-08
Burton DR, Saphire EO.
J Infect Dis

Development of Prototype Filovirus Recombinant Antigen Immunoassays.

2015-08
Boisen ML, Oottamasathien D, Jones AB, Millett MM, Nelson DS, Bornholdt ZA, Fusco ML, Abelson DM, Oda S, Hartnett JN,…
Cell Rep

Assembly of the Ebola Virus Nucleoprotein from a Chaperoned VP35 Complex.

2015-06
Kirchdoerfer RN, Abelson DM, Li S, Wood MR, Saphire EO.
PLoS Pathog

Protective mAbs and Cross-Reactive mAbs Raised by Immunization with Engineered Marburg Virus GPs.

2015-06
Fusco ML, Hashiguchi T, Cassan R, Biggins JE, Murin CD, Warfield KL, Li S, Holtsberg FW, Shulenin S, Vu H, Olinger GG,…
Cell Host Microbe

New Advances in the Effort against Ebola.

2015-05
Saphire EO.
J Infect Dis

High-resolution Crystal Structure of Dimeric VP40 From Sudan ebolavirus.

2015-05
Clifton MC, Bruhn JF, Atkins K, Webb TL, Baydo RO, Raymond A, Lorimer DD, Edwards TE, Myler PJ, Saphire EO.
Cell

Structural basis for Marburg virus neutralization by a cross-reactive human antibody.

2015-02
Hashiguchi T, Fusco ML, Bornholdt ZA, Lee JE, Flyak AI, Matsuoka R, Kohda D, Yanagi Y, Hammel M, Crowe JE Jr, Saphire…
Cell

Mechanism of human antibody-mediated neutralization of Marburg virus.

2015-02
Flyak AI, Ilinykh PA, Murin CD, Garron T, Shen X, Fusco ML, Hashiguchi T, Bornholdt ZA, Slaughter JC, Sapparapu G,…
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Structures of protective antibodies reveal sites of vulnerability on Ebola virus.

2014-11
Murin CD, Fusco ML, Bornholdt ZA, Qiu X, Olinger GG, Zeitlin L, Kobinger GP, Ward AB, Saphire EO.
Viruses

Filovirus RefSeq entries: evaluation and selection of filovirus type variants, type sequences, and names.

2014-09
Kuhn JH, Andersen KG, Bào Y, Bavari S, Becker S, Bennett RS, Bergman NH, Blinkova O, Bradfute S, Brister JR, Bukreyev…
Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr

Structure of the LCMV nucleoprotein provides a template for understanding arenavirus replication and immunosuppression.

2014-06
West BR, Hastie KM, Saphire EO.
Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun

Structure of the Reston ebolavirus VP30 C-terminal domain.

2014-04
Clifton MC, Kirchdoerfer RN, Atkins K, Abendroth J, Raymond A, Grice R, Barnes S, Moen S, Lorimer D, Edwards TE, Myler…
Nucleic Acids Res

Structural insights into RNA encapsidation and helical assembly of the Toscana virus nucleoprotein.

2014-04
Olal D, Dick A, Woods VL Jr, Liu T, Li S, Devignot S, Weber F, Saphire EO, Daumke O.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis

Lassa fever in post-conflict sierra leone.

2014-03
Shaffer JG, Grant DS, Schieffelin JS, Boisen ML, Goba A, Hartnett JN, Levy DC, Yenni RE, Moses LM, Fullah M, Momoh M,…
Science

Complement is activated by IgG hexamers assembled at the cell surface.

2014-03
Diebolder CA, Beurskens FJ, de Jong RN, Koning RI, Strumane K, Lindorfer MA, Voorhorst M, Ugurlar D, Rosati S, Heck AJ,…
J Virol

Crystal structure of Marburg virus VP24.

2014-02
Zhang AP, Bornholdt ZA, Abelson DM, Saphire EO.
Arch Virol

Virus nomenclature below the species level: a standardized nomenclature for filovirus strains and variants rescued from cDNA.

2013-11
Kuhn JH, Bào Y, Bavari S, Becker S, Bradfute S, Brauburger K, Rodney Brister J, Bukreyev AA, Caì Y, Chandran K, Davey…
Immunotherapy

An update on the use of antibodies against the filoviruses.

2013-11
Saphire EO.
J Virol

Crystal structure of the nipah virus phosphoprotein tetramerization domain.

2013-10
Bruhn JF, Barnett KC, Bibby J, Thomas JM, Keegan RM, Rigden DJ, Bornholdt ZA, Saphire EO.
Arch Virol

Discussions and decisions of the 2012-2014 International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Filoviridae Study Group, January 2012-June 2013.

2013-10
Bukreyev AA, Chandran K, Dolnik O, Dye JM, Ebihara H, Leroy EM, Mühlberger E, Netesov SV, Patterson JL, Paweska JT,…
Cell

Structural rearrangement of ebola virus VP40 begets multiple functions in the virus life cycle.

2013-08
Bornholdt ZA, Noda T, Abelson DM, Halfmann P, Wood MR, Kawaoka Y, Saphire EO.
J Virol

Ebolavirus VP35 coats the backbone of double-stranded RNA for interferon antagonism.

2013-07
Bale S, Julien JP, Bornholdt ZA, Krois AS, Wilson IA, Saphire EO.
Arch Virol

Virus nomenclature below the species level: a standardized nomenclature for laboratory animal-adapted strains and variants of viruses assigned to the family Filoviridae.

2013-01
Kuhn JH, Bao Y, Bavari S, Becker S, Bradfute S, Brister JR, Bukreyev AA, Caì Y, Chandran K, Davey RA, Dolnik O, Dye…
Chembiochem

Two synthetic antibodies that recognize and neutralize distinct proteolytic forms of the ebola virus envelope glycoprotein.

2012-11
Koellhoffer JF, Chen G, Sandesara RG, Bale S, Saphire EO, Chandran K, Sidhu SS, Lai JR.
Virulence

The ebolavirus VP24 interferon antagonist: know your enemy.

2012-10
Zhang AP, Abelson DM, Bornholdt ZA, Liu T, Woods VL Jr, Saphire EO.
PLoS Pathog

Marburg virus VP35 can both fully coat the backbone and cap the ends of dsRNA for interferon antagonism.

2012-10
Bale S, Julien JP, Bornholdt ZA, Kimberlin CR, Halfmann P, Zandonatti MA, Kunert J, Kroon GJ, Kawaoka Y, MacRae IJ,…
Arch Virol

Virus nomenclature below the species level: a standardized nomenclature for natural variants of viruses assigned to the family Filoviridae.

2012-09
Kuhn JH, Bao Y, Bavari S, Becker S, Bradfute S, Brister JR, Bukreyev AA, Chandran K, Davey RA, Dolnik O, Dye JM,…
PLoS One

Structural basis for the dsRNA specificity of the Lassa virus NP exonuclease.

2012-09
Hastie KM, King LB, Zandonatti MA, Saphire EO.
Viruses

Structural basis for differential neutralization of ebolaviruses.

2012-05
Bale S, Dias JM, Fusco ML, Hashiguchi T, Wong AC, Liu T, Keuhne AI, Li S, Woods VL Jr, Chandran K, Dye JM, Saphire EO.
Curr Opin Virol

The variety of study in the field of emerging viruses.

2012-04
Saphire EO, Feldmann H.
Curr Opin Virol

Hiding the evidence: two strategies for innate immune evasion by hemorrhagic fever viruses.

2012-04
Hastie KM, Bale S, Kimberlin CR, Saphire EO.
PLoS Pathog

The ebola virus interferon antagonist VP24 directly binds STAT1 and has a novel, pyramidal fold.

2012-03
Zhang AP, Bornholdt ZA, Liu T, Abelson DM, Lee DE, Li S, Woods VL Jr, Saphire EO.
J Virol

Structure of an antibody in complex with its mucin domain linear epitope that is protective against Ebola virus.

2011-12
Olal D, Kuehne AI, Bale S, Halfmann P, Hashiguchi T, Fusco ML, Lee JE, King LB, Kawaoka Y, Dye JM Jr, Saphire EO.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis

Ebola virus glycoprotein needs an additional trigger, beyond proteolytic priming for membrane fusion.

2011-11
Bale S, Liu T, Li S, Wang Y, Abelson D, Fusco M, Woods VL Jr, Saphire EO.
Nat Struct Mol Biol

A shared structural solution for neutralizing ebolaviruses.

2011-11
Dias JM, Kuehne AI, Abelson DM, Bale S, Wong AC, Halfmann P, Muhammad MA, Fusco ML, Zak SE, Kang E, Kawaoka Y, Chandran…
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Crystal structure of the Lassa virus nucleoprotein-RNA complex reveals a gating mechanism for RNA binding.

2011-11
Hastie KM, Liu T, Li S, King LB, Ngo N, Zandonatti MA, Woods VL Jr, de la Torre JC, Saphire EO.
J Virol

Cathepsin cleavage potentiates the Ebola virus glycoprotein to undergo a subsequent fusion-relevant conformational change.

2011-10
Brecher M, Schornberg KL, Delos SE, Fusco ML, Saphire EO, White JM.
Nat Struct Mol Biol

Measles virus fusion shifts into gear.

2011-02
Saphire EO, Oldstone MB.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Structure of the Lassa virus nucleoprotein reveals a dsRNA-specific 3' to 5' exonuclease activity essential for immune suppression.

2011-01
Hastie KM, Kimberlin CR, Zandonatti MA, MacRae IJ, Saphire EO.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Ebolavirus VP35 uses a bimodal strategy to bind dsRNA for innate immune suppression.

2009-12
Kimberlin CR, Bornholdt ZA, Li S, Woods VL Jr, MacRae IJ, Saphire EO.
Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr

Techniques and tactics used in determining the structure of the trimeric ebolavirus glycoprotein.

2009-11
Lee JE, Fusco ML, Abelson DM, Hessell AJ, Burton DR, Saphire EO.
Curr Opin Struct Biol

Neutralizing ebolavirus: structural insights into the envelope glycoprotein and antibodies targeted against it.

2009-06
Lee JE, Saphire EO.
Nat Protoc

An efficient platform for screening expression and crystallization of glycoproteins produced in human cells.

2009-04
Lee JE, Fusco ML, Saphire EO.
Future Virol

Ebolavirus glycoprotein structure and mechanism of entry.

2009-01
Lee JE, Saphire EO.
Nature

Structure of the Ebola virus glycoprotein bound to an antibody from a human survivor.

2008-07
Lee JE, Fusco ML, Hessell AJ, Oswald WB, Burton DR, Saphire EO.
J Mol Biol

Complex of a protective antibody with its Ebola virus GP peptide epitope: unusual features of a V lambda x light chain.

2007-11
Lee JE, Kuehne A, Abelson DM, Fusco ML, Hart MK, Saphire EO.
J Mol Biol

Structure of a high-affinity "mimotope" peptide bound to HIV-1-neutralizing antibody b12 explains its inability to elicit gp120 cross-reactive antibodies.

2007-04
Saphire EO, Montero M, Menendez A, van Houten NE, Irving MB, Pantophlet R, Zwick MB, Parren PW, Burton DR, Scott JK,…
J Virol

Ebola virus VP35 protein binds double-stranded RNA and inhibits alpha/beta interferon production induced by RIG-I signaling.

2006-05
Cárdenas WB, Loo YM, Gale M Jr, Hartman AL, Kimberlin CR, Martínez-Sobrido L, Saphire EO, Basler CF
Adv Exp Med Biol

The carbohydrate epitope of the neutralizing anti-HIV-1 antibody 2G12.

2004-01
Scanlan CN, Pantophlet R, Wormald MR, Saphire EO, Calarese D, Stanfield R, Wilson IA, Katinger H, Dwek RA, Burton DR,…
Adv Exp Med Biol

Crystal structure of an intact human IgG: antibody asymmetry, flexibility, and a guide for HIV-1 vaccine design.

2004-01
Saphire EO, Stanfield RL, Crispin MD, Morris G, Zwick MB, Pantophlet RA, Parren PW, Rudd PM, Dwek RA, Burton DR, Wilson…
Virology

Recurring conformation of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gp120 V3 loop.

2003-11
Stanfield RL, Ghiara JB, Ollmann Saphire E, Profy AT, Wilson IA.
J Virol

Fine mapping of the interaction of neutralizing and nonneutralizing monoclonal antibodies with the CD4 binding site of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gp120.

2002-12
Pantophlet R, Ollmann Saphire E, Poignard P, Parren PW, Wilson IA, Burton DR.
J Virol

The broadly neutralizing anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 antibody 2G12 recognizes a cluster of alpha1-->2 mannose residues on the outer face of gp120.

2002-06
Scanlan CN, Pantophlet R, Wormald MR, Ollmann Saphire E, Stanfield R, Wilson IA, Katinger H, Dwek RA, Rudd PM, Burton…
J Mol Biol

Contrasting IgG structures reveal extreme asymmetry and flexibility.

2002-06
Saphire EO, Stanfield RL, Crispin MD, Parren PW, Rudd PM, Dwek RA, Burton DR, Wilson IA.

Principal Investigator

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.

Professor

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. is a Professor of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Her research explains, at the molecular level, how and why viruses like Ebola and Lassa are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for medical defense. Her team has solved the structures of the Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, Bundibugyo and Lassa virus glycoproteins, explained how they remodel these structures as they drive themselves into cells, how their proteins suppress immune function and where human antibodies can defeat these viruses.

A recent discovery revealed why neutralizing antibodies had been so difficult to elicit against Lassa virus, and provided not only the templates for the needed vaccine, but the molecule itself: a Lassa surface glycoprotein engineered to remain in the right conformation to inspire the needed antibody response. This molecule is the basis for international vaccine efforts against Lassa.

Dr. Saphire was also the galvanizing force behind the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium and is the Director of this organization. This consortium, an NIH-funded Center of Excellence in Translational Research, unites 44 previously competing academic, industrial and government labs across five continents to understand and provide antibody therapeutics against Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and other viruses.

Dr. Saphire’s work has been recognized at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, with young investigator awards from the International Congress of Antiviral Research, the American Society for Microbiology, and the MRC Centre for Virus Research in the United Kingdom. She has been awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar fellowship from the United States Department of State and a Mercator Fellowship from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, to develop international collaborations using cryoelectron microscopy to further global health.

Lab Members

Alyssa Agarwal

Lab Assistant

Emilia Arturo, Ph.D.

Postdoc Fellow (0 year)

I was born in Romania and raised for most of my life on the east coast of the USA. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics with a focus in biology in 2003 from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ, USA. After a winding path through various research laboratories and industries, I obtained a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, USA in 2018. I joined the Saphire laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute in January 2019 as a postdoctoral fellow.

Research focus

As a structural biologist I am fascinated by proteins’ structures and how structural flexibility allows a cell to respond to its environment. My graduate work focused on flexible multi-domain enzymes that can sample different conformations for the same primary sequence to accomplish moonlighting cellular tasks or to turn themselves on or off according to a cell’s state. My current research focuses on the structures of the flexible glycoproteins of arenaviruses and ebolaviruses, as well as RNA sensors of the innate immune system.

Ruben Diaz Avalos

Scientific Associate

I was born and raised in Mexico City, where I went to college at the Universidad Nacional, graduating with majors in Mathematics and Physics. After graduation, I attended Brandeis University, where I studied the assembly of tobacco mosaic virus in the laboratory of Prof. Donald L.D. Caspar using electron cryomicroscopy and image processing. For the past 27 years, I have participated in several different projects involving various forms of electron microscopy.

Tierra Buck

Lab Assistant

Sara Landeras Bueno, Ph.D.

Postdoc Fellow (3 years)

I was born in the beautiful city of Madrid in Spain where I received my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology. I have been always fascinated about how viruses that are so small pathogens can cause devastating diseases so I decided to focus my career in understanding how they multiply so efficiently in humans and use this knowledge to fight them. During my Ph.D., I learned the fundamental techniques in molecular virology using Influenza virus as a model. For my postdoc, I moved to the structural virology field where I am characterizing essential proteins for the multiplication of Ebola virus.

Also, I am one of the founders of ECUSA-SD (Spanish scientists in the USA), which allows me to promote the role of the science and technology in our society through the organization of events that bring together scientists and the community!

Heather Callaway

Postdoc Fellow (0 year)

Adrian Enriquez

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jingru Fang

Graduate Student

Stephanie Harkins

Research Tech III

Kate Hastie

Sean Hui

Research Tech II

Liam King

Graduate Student

Haoyang Li

Postdoc Fellow (0 year)

Michelle Moss

Project Manager

Mike Norris

Postdoc Fellow (2 years)

Diptiben Parekh

Research Tech III

Amar Parvate

Postdoc Fellow (1 year)

I got my BSc and MSc in Microbiology from Garware College (Pune University, now SPPU), Pune, India. I then moved to the US in 2012 and obtained my PhD from Purdue University in 2018. The focus of my work was to find strategies to inactivate BSL-3 Hantaviruses to perform cryo-EM analyses on them outside of high containment facilities. This involved both purified viruses and virus infected mammalian cell lines. Technique development in terms of single particle analysis, electron tomography and resin sectioning was a large part of my PhD research. As a graduate student, I got extensive TA experience teaching various lecture and lab based courses for the duration of my PhD. I joined the lab of Prof. Erica Saphire in 2018 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in TSRI and have continued with my position as the lab moved to LJI. My work currently involves working elucidating the structural details and epitope mapping of glycoproteins from various Ebolaviruses. As part of the Saphire lab I will also be involved in the cryo-EM facility that is being set up in LJI.

Vamseedhar Rayaprolu

Scientific Associate

Jen Li Salie

Postdoc Fellow (3 years)

I was born in China and raised in China and Japan. I graduated from Tianjin University of Technology with Bachelor in Bioengineering in 2011. I received my PhD in Biochemistry from University of Missouri in 2017. During my graduate study I got trained on X-ray crystallography and protein biochemistry and worked on antiviral drug discovery against HIV in Dr. Stefan Sarafianos laboratory. My post-doctoral research focuses on structural studies of filovirus glycoproteins and its neutrilazing antibodies using cryo-EM and crystallography. I am also working on mapping the protein-protein interaction that bridges the membrane matrix and
nucleocapsid in Ebola virus.

Andrew Saphire

Scientific Associate

Sharon Schendel

Project Manager

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Indiana University and my Ph.D. in Biophysics from Purdue University. My doctoral and post-doctoral research focused on structural changes accompanying the membrane insertion of proteins, and my work with the Bcl-2 family proteins was instrumental in defining a mechanistic role for these proteins in cell death pathways.

I established the U.S. Editorial Office for The Biochemical Journal and was Graduate and Postdoctoral Education Specialist at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute where I focused on helping trainees develop writing and oral communication skills. As Project Manager for the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutics Consortium at the Scripps Research Institute, I combine my writing and research skills to oversee an international collaboration aimed at developing novel antibody-based therapies to treat infections by some of the world’s most deadly viruses, including Ebola virus, Lassa virus and encephalitic alphaviruses.

Kelly Shaffer

Research Tech I

Hal Wasserman

Postdoc Fellow (3 years)

I have a BA in Computer Science from Harvard University, an MA in Cinema-Television Production from the University of Southern California, and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. After working for many years as a software engineer in interactive entertainment, I have returned to scientific research. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Saphire Lab at La Jolla Institute for Immunology, I use structural biology and computational techniques to investigate “transformer proteins” such as the Ebola virus protein VP40, which assume multiple forms to carry out multiple functions. This may lead to novel medicines that fight viruses by inhibiting their structural transformations.

Xiaoying Yu

Graduate Student

I am a graduate student at the Scripps Research Institute, studying epitopes on the filovirus viral surface glycoprotein by structural biology and complementary functional analysis, in order to provide essential information to guide the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics and vaccine design. I received my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Michelle Zandonatti

Research Tech III

Ollmann Saphire Lab

Research Projects