Based in a college of medicine, an important focus of research for faculty and trainees in our program is translational with the development of vaccines and of novel therapeutic strategies, such as immunotherapy and gene therapies. In 1958, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine made the dream of eradicating polio worldwide a reality with the development of the first live polio vaccine that did not require low-temperature storage. Vaccine development continues in our program as program members develop prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against deadly viruses, bacteria and parasites. In addition, faculty and students in the program target the exquisite specificity of immune effector T-cells, NK cells, NKT, and dendritic cells and harness the ease with which they can be grown, genetically manipulated and combined with other immunotherapies, including oncolytic viruses, to use them for the immunotherapy of viral diseases and cancer. Program members also develop peptides and small molecules to alter the function of immune cells with the goal of treating cancers and infectious or autoimmune diseases.

Faculty and trainees in the program benefit from the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy that has been developing strategies to target cancer and viral diseases in the research laboratory and translating them to the clinic in over 60 clinical trials. Similarly, faculty and trainees interested in vaccine development are members of the Vaccine Research Center and the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development of the National School of Tropical Medicine.

A-K: Profiles of Faculty Working on Immunotherapy, Gene Therapy and Vaccine Development

Sandeep Krishna Agarwal, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Section Chief

Phone

  • (713) 798-3390

Clinical : Diagnosis and management of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic sclerosis/scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, vasculitis…

Robert Legare Atmar, M.D.

Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-6849

Respiratory viral pathogens; Enteric viruses and environmental virology

Christine Beeton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-5030

Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis); Identification of therapeutic targets and drug development…

Maria Elena Bottazzi, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine

Phone

  • (832) 824-0510

Min Chen

Associate Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-8507

Autoimmunity and inflammation; Dendritic cells in immune regulation; Cytokine signal transduction

William K Decker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Cancer immunotherapy; Dendritic cell vaccination; TH polarization; Innate immune signaling

Hana Mohammed El Sahly, M.D.

Associate Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-2058

Vaccines; Tuberculosis

Mary K. Estes, Ph.D.

Distinguished Service Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-3585

Human mini-gut cultures to understand gastrointestinal virus-host interactions and mechanisms of pathogenesis and immunity

Brian Edward Gilbert, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-4022

Aerosolized drugs for pulmonary diseases

Helen E Heslop, MD, DSc (Hon)

Professor

Phone

  • (832) 824-4662

Cell and Gene Therapy

Peter Jay Hotez, M.D., Ph.D.

Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine

Phone

  • (713) 798-1199

Drug and Vaccine Delivery; Tropical Medicine

Kathryn Marie Jones, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Jason Thomas Kimata, PH.D.

Associate Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-4536

HIV Replication, Pathogenesis, and Cure

L-Z: Profiles of Faculty Working on Immunotherapy, Gene Therapy and Vaccine Development

Ann Marie Leen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Phone

  • (832) 824-4690

T cell immunotherapy for viruses and cancer

Jonathan Michael Levitt, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-8820

Immunotherapies, dendritic cell vaccines, and biomarkers for BPH and prostate cancer

Paul Dalling Ling, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-8474

Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV); Gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis

Anthony Maresso, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-7369

Pathogenesis of bacterial infections

Leonid S. Metelitsa, M.D.

Professor

Phone

  • (832) 824-4395

Robin Parihar, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Pediatric solid tumors; Solid tumor microenvironment; Natural Killer (NK) cell biology; Cellular therapies for solid tumors

Pedro A. Piedra, M.D.

Professor

Phone

  • (713) 798-5240

Reduction of respiratory virus illness burden in infants

Cliona M Rooney, Ph.D.

Professor

Phone

  • (832) 824-4693

Virus-specific T cells for treatment of viral diseases

Andrew Sikora, MD, PhD

Vice Chair for Research and Co-Director Head and Neck Cancer Program

Head and neck cancer; Tumor immunology; Cancer immunotherapy; HPV-associated head and neck cancer; Cancer biology…

Masataka Suzuki, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Phone

  • (832) 824-4673

The application of helper-dependent adenoviral vectors (HDAds) to cancer immunotherapy…

Jianhua Yang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Phone

  • (832) 824-4572

Functional analysis of molecular targets in cancer.

Qizhi Cathy Yao, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Surgery

Phone

  • (713) 798-1765

HIV vaccines; Pancreatic cancer pathogenesis; Nanoparticle targeted delivery

E. Lynn Zechiedrich, Ph.D.

Kyle and Josephine Morrow Chair in Molecular Virology and Microbiology

Phone

  • (713) 798-5126

DNA supercoiling, DNA topoisomerases, antibiotic resistance, gene therapy

Xiang Zhang, Ph.D

Professor