Talk Abstract

This presentation will review technologies and case studies that link T cell phenotype (regulatory or effector) and HLA with vaccine efficacy and biologic protein immunogenicity. Immunogenicity is a very important safety issue for protein therapeutics and a key attribute of vaccines. Antibody immunogenicity is very well known, but the contribution of T cells and the role of HLA as a ‘biomarkers’ of immunogenicity are less well recognized. Because immunogenicity correlates with patient HLA type, immunogenicity can be screened using computational and experimental methods that define HLA-binding peptides, at pre-clinical and clinical stages of development. This talk will also report on recent discoveries related to the cross-reactive TCR face of T cell epitopes and the engagement of Tregs - and their influence on immune responses to co-delivered proteins. The relevance of HLA and T cell phenotype to immunogenicity will be illustrated in cases studies involving biologics and vaccines.

Speaker Biography

Anne S. De Groot earned her Bachelors in Science at Smith College, her M.D. at the Pritzker School of Medicine / University of Chicago, worked on field campaigns to vaccinate against measles in Zaire, then trained in Internal Medicine (New England Medical Center), was a NRSA fellow in tropical medicine and vaccinology at NIH (LPD) and underwent specialty training in infectious disease (again at New England Medical Center). She worked at Brown University 1993-2008, established EpiVax with business partner Bill Martin in 1998. In addition to serving as EpiVax CEO and CSO, she directs the Institute for Immunology and Informatics (iCubed) at the University of Rhode Island. She was invited to direct the Institute and subsequently was awarded $13M in funding to establish the Institute as a Center of Excellence in Computational Vaccinology by the NIH (2009-2015). In addition to the contributing the discovery and validation of Tregitopes, she was recognized as one of the 50 most influential people in vaccinology in 2014.

Some Recent Research Topics

Activation of natural regulatory T cells by “Tregitopes”,

HLA as a Biomarker of Immunogenicity – for Vaccines and Biotherapeutics
Conservation of Viral and Bacterial epitopes with the Human Genome:,,