In 2008, IAVI established the Vaccine Design and Development Laboratory (DDL) to further research on novel replicating viral vector technology for delivering candidate HIV vaccines. Since its founding, the DDL has become one of the world’s leading vaccine research and development labs, evolving their design of viral vectors based on the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) to develop HIV vaccine candidates. The DDL is also expanding on the VSV technology to design vaccines against viruses responsible for emerging infectious diseases such as Lassa fever, Marburg virus disease, COVID-19, and most recently Sudan Ebola virus.
DDL scientists, based at the bioscience center (BioBAT) within the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal in New York, are actively involved in developing new viral vectors and immunogens, testing vaccine concepts in vivo, and developing assays to characterize vaccine candidates and the immune responses they induce. With its facilities and expertise, the DDL has the capability to conduct the highly specialized and rigorous applied research and development that is essential to advance new vaccines beyond the early research phase into manufacturing and clinical trials.
The DDL collaborates with investigators at the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center (NAC) and Human Immunology Laboratory (HIL); Seattle Children’s Research Institute; the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard; the University of Texas Medical Branch; Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL); the University of North Carolina; Scripps Research; and the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, among others. Work at the DDL is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Government of Japan, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
The DDL is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. The DDL’s principal investigators are:
- Christopher Parks, associate vice president, viral vaccines;; head of the DDL
- Christopher Cooper, director, viral vaccines, DDL
- Gavin Morrow, associate director of vector immunobiology, DDL
Selected publications by DDL investigators and their collaborators:
Non-neutralizing Antibodies May Contribute to Suppression of SIVmac239 Viremia in Indian Rhesus Macaques. Front Immunol. 2021; 12: 657424. (Open access)
Rectal Acquisition of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) SIVmac239 Infection despite Vaccine-Induced Immune Responses against the Entire SIV Proteome. J Virol. 2020 Dec; 94(24): e00979-20. (Open access)
The Frequency of Vaccine-Induced T-Cell Responses Does Not Predict the Rate of Acquisition after Repeated Intrarectal SIVmac239 Challenges in Mamu-B*08(+) Rhesus Macaques. J Virol 93(5). DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01626-18. 2019. (Open access)
Bacterially expressed HIV-1 gp120 outer-domain fragment immunogens with improved stability and affinity for CD4-binding site neutralizing antibodies. J Biol Chem 293(39): 15002-15020. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.005006. 2018. (Open access)
Mamu-B*17(+) Rhesus Macaques Vaccinated with env, vif, and nef Manifest Early Control of SIVmac239 Replication. J Virol 92(16). DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00690-18. 2018. (Open access)
First-in-Human Evaluation of the Safety and Immunogenicity of an Intranasally Administered Replication-Competent Sendai Virus-Vectored HIV Type 1 Gag Vaccine: Induction of Potent T-Cell or Antibody Responses in Prime-Boost Regimens. J Infect Dis 215(1): 95-104. DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiw500. 2017. (Open access)
Assessment of Anti-HIV-1 Antibodies in Oral and Nasal Compartments of Volunteers From 3 Different Populations. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 73(2): 130-137. DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001094. 2016. (Open access)
Maturation Pathway from Germline to Broad HIV-1 Neutralizer of a CD4-Mimic Antibody. Cell 165(2): 449-463. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.02.022. 2016. (Open access)
Canine distemper virus neutralization activity is low in human serum and it is sensitive to an amino acid substitution in the hemagglutinin protein. Virology 482: 218-224. DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2015.03.035. 2016. (Open access)
Vaccine-Induced Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Specific CD8+ T-Cell Responses Focused on a Single Nef Epitope Select for Escape Variants Shortly after Infection. J Virol 89(21): 10802-10820. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01440-15. 2015. (Open access)