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 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.
Prof. Saphire is currently leading a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported consortium to evaluate antibody therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 to prevent and treat COVID-19. This consortium, CoVIC (covic.lji.org) analyzes the world’s leading therapeutic candidates side-by-side, and uses LJI’s powerful pair of Titan Krios microscopes for high-resolution analysis of the antibody interactions.
She was also the galvanizing force behind the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium and is directing this NIAID-supported organization. This consortium, 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. A recent discovery from Instructor Kathryn Hastie 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. Other work in their lab reveals how these and other viruses replicate and assemble using a variety of biophysical, biochemical, and immunological methods.
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.
RT @joostsnijder: Our glycoproteomics study of ebolavirus GP is now online @CommsBio! Congrats @Weiweipeng1992 and thanks @EOSaphire for th…
Yes, yes I do.
Sun, surf, filoviruses! Submit your abstract at bit.ly/3zCJoGx for #Filovirus2022 in San Diego at the Hilton Torrey Pines on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. Meeting registration is open and rooms are available. #ebola #marburg
What is so satisfying in this body of work is how x-ray, EM, virology and nuts-and-bolts biochemistry combine as an array of pigments that together paint the picture we were missing. LJI, Purdue, Nipah BSL-4 Maisner Lab Marburg, Measles of @10queues & MD of Prem Chapagain at FIU
What @Paramyxologist Mike Norris and our friend & collaborator @Stahelin_Lab uncovered is that when matrix binds the lipid head group it’s looking for in the plasma membrane, conf. rearrangement and assembly are triggered. This opens new druggable pockets not otherwise apparent.
I’m really really proud of this body of research. I think it’s among the best work that has ever come out of my lab in the 19 years we’ve been running. For years, we have known THAT matrix builds virions but we have not known HOW or WHY polymerization occurs or the trigger(s). twitter.com/Paramyxologist…
RT @glycobrotein: Super excited to present a preprint of my work during my time as a trainee in the @EOSaphire lab at @ljiresearch, which w…
RT @aetarke: Our paper investigating CD4 T cell responses in #acute #COVID-19 patients was just published: mdpi.com/1422-0067/23/1…. (1/4)…
Thanks so much for all your information and help. A rapid Borreliose antigen test on the tick was negative, which is hopeful. But he was such a tiny little guy that it was hard to get him sufficiently smashed up. With so little material, I worried about threshold of detection.
It has eight legs…
@tickreport it’s less than 1 mm in diameter. How do you gauge length of feeding?
Can anyone identify this #tick found in #Bavaria #Bayern @TickReport ?
Awards & Honors
- Fulbright Global Scholar Award, 2019-2020
- Mercator Fellowship, DFG, Philipps Universitaet Marburg, 2018
- Eli Lilly and Company-Elanco Research Award, American Society for Microbiology, 2016
- Finalist, Classy Award for the Most Innovative Nonprofits and Social Enterprises of 2016 for VIC, 2016
- "Cool Woman", Girl Scouts San Diego, 2016
- William Prusoff Young Investigator Award, Int. Society for Antiviral Research, 2015
- Young Investigator Award, ASBMB, 2015
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2015
- Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology, 2014
- Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, 2009
- Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, 2009-2015
- ICAAC Young Investigator Award, American Society for Microbiology, 2006
- Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, 2003-2008
- New Initiatives Award in Global Infectious Disease, Ellison Medical Foundation, 2003
- Surhain Sidhu Award, 2003