Student Research Seminar

Hi grads!

Our next Student Research Seminar is coming soon! It will take place on Wednesday, February 28th from 10-11AM in NSB Auditorium. Speakers this quarter will be chosen by a nomination process– read below for more information.

The Student Research Seminar series is the perfect opportunity to give a short, general talk on your research to the department and received feedback from peers and faculty. Last quarter the seminar was very well-attended by grads and faculty (over 60 attendees!), but it was a low-pressure environment due to the general nature of the talks and the 5-speaker lineup; there wasn’t too much attention on any one speaker.

Just like last time, one speaker from each of the five subdivisions will present 10-minute talks in sequence, adding up to an hourlong seminar.  Snacks will be plentiful!

If you would like to be considered for a talk, just fill out the short form here:

If you would like to nominate another grad student for a talk, fill out this form:

Nominations will close one week from today, on Wednesday Jan 31st.  We welcome questions, and hope you will consider participating in this new opportunity!


Jessie Moreton and Christian Seitz



Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS) – University of California, San Diego

Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS) – University of California, San Diego

“Vaccine Development for the Re-emerging Chikungunya Virus”

Scott C. Weaver

Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and Department of Microbiology & Immunology

University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas

Thursday, February 1, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The Marilyn G. Farquhar Seminar Room

Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior Building

School of Medicine, UCSD Campus

Hosted by  Suresh Subramani

Alphaviruses include several emerging, mosquito-borne viruses that produce debilitating and sometimes fatal human infections involving two major febrile syndromes: encephalitis and rash/arthralgia. The most important of these is chikungunya virus (CHIKV), which has re-emerged since 2004 to cause outbreaks of near pandemic proportion, including over 2 million estimated cases in the Americas with local transmission in the southern U.S. CHIKV infection typically produces severe, chronic and debilitating arthralgia with major economic impacts in addition to direct morbidity. To develop safe, affordable and effective vaccines to prevent alphaviral disease, we have developed two new approaches: 1) a novel attenuation method involving altering gene expression by replacing the subgenomic promoter with a picornavirus internal ribosome entry site (IRES) to reduce structural protein production and prevent infection of mosquitoes (as an added safety measure, and; 2) the use of an insect-specific alphavirus, Eilat virus, to generate vertebrate cell replication-deficient virus particles that include native CHIKV structural proteins. Both vaccine platforms have proven safe and effective in murine and nonhuman primate models, including with multiple alphaviruses, and are poised for clinical development to prevent chikungunya fever.


Related Papers:

  1. Plante K, Wang E, Partidos CD, Weger J, Gorchakov R, Tsetsarkin K, Borland EM, Powers AM, Seymour R, Stinchcomb DT, Osorio JE, Frolov I, Weaver SC. Novel Chikungunya Vaccine Candidate with an IRES-Based Attenuation and Host Range Alteration Mechanism. PLoS Pathog. 2011. 7:e1002142. PMCID: PMC3145802.
  2. Roy CJ, Adams AP, Wang E, Plante K, Gorchakov R, Seymour RL, Vinet-Oliphant H, Weaver SC. Chikungunya vaccine candidate is highly attenuated and protects nonhuman primates against telemetrically monitored disease following a single dose. J Infect Dis. 2014. 209:1891-9. PMCID: PMC4038141.
  3. Plante KS, Rossi SL, Bergren NA, Seymour RL, Weaver SC. Extended Preclinical Safety, Efficacy and Stability Testing of a Live-attenuated Chikungunya Vaccine Candidate. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015. 9:e0004007. PMCID: PMCPMC4560411.
  4. Weaver SC, Lecuit M. Chikungunya virus and the global spread of a mosquito-borne disease. N Engl J Med. 2015. 372:1231-9.
  5. Erasmus JH, Auguste AJ, Kaelber JT, Luo H, Rossi SL, Fenton K, Leal G, Kim DY, Chiu W, Wang T, Frolov I, Nasar F, Weaver SC. A chikungunya fever vaccine utilizing an insect-specific virus platform. Nat Med. 2017. 23:192-9. PMCID: PMCPMC5296253.
  6. Weaver SC, Charlier C, Vasilakis N, Lecuit M. Zika, Chikungunya, and Other Emerging Vector-Borne Viral Diseases. Annu Rev Med. 2017.

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