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Pathology & Immunology

Houston, Texas

Pathology and Immunology
Pathology & Immunology
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Frank M. Orson, M.D. - Faculty

Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine-Clinical Immunology, and Pathology & Immunology

B.A., Rice University, Chemistry & Biochemistry
M.D., Baylor College of Medicine


Research Interests: Genetic Immunization for Human Diseases

Understanding optimal design of such expression vectors, modes of delivery, and the influences on gene expression will have a major impact on the applications of this technology in combating human disease. My laboratory has two current areas of interest for applying genetic immunization, infectious disease (HIV and influenza) and inflammation (allergy).

HIV: Vaccines against viral and other infectious diseases are the most obvious application of genetic immunization, and the epitope flexibility, low toxicity, and CTL induction are all important genetic vaccine properties that provide a realistic hope that an HIV vaccine can be developed. We are investigating the effects of different routes of administration using intraepidermal injection, attachment to particles for injection and oral administration, and complexing with polycations for aerosol administration.

Allergic Disease: The immune system regulates itself very tightly to avoid excess tissue destruction in cases of infection or tumor rejection. Unfortunately, this regulation sometimes fails, resulting in
allergic or autoimmune disease. Much of this regulation occurs via modulation of cytokine molecules that signal cell proliferation, activation, and apoptosis. Using genetic immunization, we are exploring ways to regulate cytokine production in models of asthma and anaphylactic disease.

Selected Publications:

  • C. L. Densmore, F. M. Orson, B. Xu, B. M. Kinsey, J. C. Waldrep, P. J. Hua, B. S. Bhogal, and V. Knight. 2000. Aerosol delivery of robust PEI-DNA complexes for gene therapy and genetic immunization. Molec Ther 1:180-188.

  • Orson, F .M., B. M. Kinsey, P. Hua, B. S. Bhogal, C. L. Densmore, and M. A. Barry. 2000. Genetic immunization with lung-targeting
    polyethylenimine-macroaggregated albumin conjugates elicits combined systemic and mucosal immune responses. J Immunol 164:6313-6321.

  • Orson, F .M., L. Song, A. Gautam, C. L. Densmore, B. S. Bhogal, and B. M. Kinsey. 2002. Gene delivery to the lung using protein/polyethylenimine/plasmid complexes. Gene Ther 9:463-471.

  • Chatel, J.-M., H. Bernard, F. M. Orson. 2003. Isolation and characterization of two complete Ara H 2 isoforms cDNA. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 131:14-18.

  • Chatel, J.-M., L. Song, B. Bhogal, F. M. Orson. 2003. Various factors (allergen nature, mouse strain, CpG/recombinant protein expressed) influence the immune response elicited by genetic immunization. Allergy 58:641-647.

  • Kinsey, B. M., M. Marcelli, L. Song, B. S. Bhogal, M. Ittmann, and F. M. Orson. 2004. Enhancement of both cellular and humoral responses to genetic immunization by co-administration of an antigen encoding plasmid with a plasmid encoding the pro-apoptotic protein Bax. J Gene Med 6:445-454.

  • Weaver, E.A., F.M. Orson, A. de la Concha, R. L. Bohls, Z. Li, A. Wolf, and E.W. Collisson. 2004. A genetic vaccine induces mucosal immunity against feline immunodeficiency virus. Vet Immunol Immunopathol In Press.

  • Kinsey, B. K., C. L. Densmore, and F. M. Orson. 2004. Gene therapy of the lung. Current Gene Therapy, In Press.

    For a complete list of Dr. Orson's publications, visit PubMed.

Contact Information:
    Frank M. Orson, M.D.
    Baylor College of Medicine
    One Baylor Plaza - 205A
    Houston, TX 77030
Telephone: 713-794-7960
Fax: 713-790-9141

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