Molecular Vaccine Technology
The goal of Molecular Vaccine Technology (mVT) group is the use of advanced molecular biology approaches to develop vaccines against animal and human infectious diseases. Thus far, the mVT group at ABRC has worked on various pathogenic viruses including foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv), SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and influenza virus. We have successfully developed DNA vaccines and subunit vaccines such as recombinant capsid protein VP1 and plant virus expressing VP1 epitope against FMD, and more recently virus-like particle (VLP)-based vaccines against SARS, FMD and influenza.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) mediate initial innate immune responses and are required for the development of the adaptive immune response. We have used genomic and proteomic approaches to identify several novel molecules involved in the immune response upon stimulation with TLR9 ligand in both human and swine immune cells and neuron cells. We also developed a cell- base assay to screen novel TLR agonists and successfully identified TLR2 agonists from bacteria biofilm, viral proteins and herbal plants. These TLR agonists are currently being evaluated for their potential use as vaccine adjuvant. Specific polysaccharides from medicinal plants are also being evaluated for use as adjuvant for advanced vaccine formulations, e.g., DC-base vaccines
Our endeavor to develop advanced vaccine technologies will include but not limited to the use of VLP technology, development of new delivery systems, and novel adjuvants. Specifically, we will target the VLP-based vaccines and improvement of cell mediated l immunity against human and avian influenza. To boost vaccine biotechnology in Taiwan, we will focus on solving variousl potential technical difficulties to translate our experimental insights from the bench to the clinic, farm field and beyond.