Dr. Weiskopf, devoted her career to understanding the adaptive immune response to emerging infectious viruses relevant to human health and disease. Following her PhD, she obtained post-doctoral training at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) where her efforts were dedicated to characterize human dengue virus-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses in samples from areas with endemic dengue infection and following experimental dengue vaccination. As a Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Research at LJI she have focused on the characterization of Zika and Chikungunya virus specific T cell responses and also became interested in the effects of pre-existing immunity against dengue virus to subsequent zika virus infection. Most recently she have characterized SARS-CoV-CoV-2 specific T cell responses after natural infection and vaccination. Understanding adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 is important for vaccine development efforts, interpreting disease pathogenesis, and calibration of future pandemic control measures.
She most recently served as the chief scientific officer at Gritstone since 2016. Prior to Gritstone, from 2009 to 2016, Dr. Jooss was the head of cancer immuno-therapeutics at Pfizer, Inc., where she was also a member of the vaccine immuno-therapeutics leadership team. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Jooss served as VP of research from 2005 to 2009 and as Sr. director of research at Cell Genesys Inc. from 2001 to 2005. She is on the editorial board of Molecular Therapy and the Journal of Gene Medicine and is a member of the Immunology and Educational Committee of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. Dr. Jooss serves on the board of directors of Fate Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Jooss received her diploma in theoretical medicine and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Marburg/Germany and performed postgraduate work in gene therapy and immunology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Self-Amplifying mRNA Multi-antigen Coronavirus Vaccine
The talk will cover the generation of chimeric antigen coronavirus vaccines to drive broad and potent T-cell responses against viral genes beyond Spike in addition to high neutralizing antibodies to Spike. The vaccine platform is a self-amplifying RNA (samRNA) which offers a potentially dose sparing vaccine opportunity to drive robust immune responses in humans.