Lanying Du, PhD
Head, Laboratory of Viral Immunology
Associate Member, Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute
- Develop effective and safe vaccines and therapeutic antibodies to prevent and treat emerging infectious diseases caused by coronaviruses, including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and other coronaviruses with pandemic potential, influenza viruses, as well as transfusion-transmitted flaviviruses.
- Study pathogenic mechanisms of these viruses, based on which to design novel vaccines and therapeutic antibodies.
- MERS-CoV vaccines and pathogenic mechanisms. We have identified MERS-CoV spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) as an important vaccine target, and demonstrated that MERS-CoV RBD contains a critical neutralizing domain capable of inducing cross-neutralizing antibodies against infection of divergent MERS-CoV strains. Current research focus is to design and develop safe, efficacious, and novel MERS vaccines with low-cost, manufacturing capacity, broad-spectrum efficacy, and enhanced potency, identify their protective mechanisms, and study pathogenic mechanisms of MERS-CoV.
- Other coronavirus vaccines and pathogenic mechanisms. We have shown that SARS-CoV spike protein RBD is an important vaccine target. We are working on the development of novel spike protein and/or RBD-based vaccines against SARS-CoV and other coronaviruses, study of their protective mechanisms, as well as identification of pathogenic mechanisms of these coronaviruses.
- Therapeutic antibodies against pathogenic coronaviruses. We have demonstrated that coronavirus spike protein RBDs are important therapeutic targets. Current research focus is to design and develop spike protein and/or RBD-targeting novel therapeutic antibodies against emerging coronaviruses with pandemic potential.
We have identified ZIKV envelope protein domain III is an important vaccine target in inducing specific antibody responses, cross-neutralizing antibodies, and protection against infection of divergent ZIKV strains. We have established mouse models susceptible to ZIKV infection, and are utilizing them to evaluate efficacy of ZIKV vaccines and therapeutic agents. Current research focus is to design and develop novel, safe, and effective ZIKV vaccines and therapeutics with improved efficacy, study ZIKV transmission and blood safety, and understand pathogenic mechanisms of ZIKV.
- Yaning Gao, M.Sc, Visiting Scientist, PhD Student
- Jingwei Huang, PhD, Research Fellow
- Shibo Jiang, MD, PhD, Guest Investigator
- Ron Rowe, BS, Lab Assistant
- Wanbo Tai, PhD, Research Fellow
- Xinyi Wang, Visiting Scientist, M.Sc student
- Dong Zhu, M.Sc, Visiting Scientist
- NIH R01AI139092 Du (PI) 05/2018 – 04/2023 “Structure-based design of coronavirus subunit vaccines”.
- NIH R01AI137472 Du (PI) 02/2018 – 01/2023 “Rational design and evaluation of novel mRNA vaccines against MERS-CoV”
- NIH R21 AI128311 Du (PI) 12/2016– 11/2018 “A novel nanobody with good druggability to prevent and treat MERS-CoV infection”
Education and Training
PhD, University of Hong Kong
Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center
Issued Patents (available for licensing and sponsored research support)
Du L, He Y, Zhou Y, Liu S, Zheng BJ, Jiang S. The spike protein of SARS-CoV – a target for vaccine and therapeutic development. Nature Rev Microbiol. 2009;7(3):226-36.
Du L, Li Y, Zhao G, Wang L, Zou P, Lu L, Zhou Y, Jiang S. Highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) mutants transmissible by air are susceptible to human and animal neutralizing antibodies. J Infect Dis. 2013;208(8):1315-9.
Du L, Zhao G, Kou Z, Ma C, Sun S, Poon VK, Lu L, Wang L, Debnath AK, Zheng BJ, Zhou Y, Jiang S. Identification of a receptor-binding domain in the S protein of the novel human coronavirus Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus as an essential target for vaccine development. J Virol. 2013;87(17):9939-42.
Yang Y, Du L, Liu C, Wang L, Ma C, Tang J, Baric RS, Jiang S, Li F. Receptor usage and cell entry of bat coronavirus HKU4 provide insight into bat-to-human transmission of MERS coronavirus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(34):12516-21.
Du L, Zhao G, Yang Y, Qiu H, Wang L, Kou Z, Tao X, Yu H, Sun S, Tseng CT, Jiang S, Li F, Zhou Y. A conformation-dependent neutralizing monoclonal antibody specifically targeting receptor-binding domain in Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike protein. J Virol. 2014;88(12):7045-53.
Du L, Tai W, Yang Y, Zhao G, Zhu Q, Sun S, Liu C, Tao X, Tseng CK, Perlman S, Jiang S, Zhou Y, Li F. Introduction of neutralizing immunogenicity index to the rational design of MERS coronavirus subunit vaccines. Nat Commun. 2016;7:13473.
Tai W, Wang Y, Fett CA, Zhao G, Li F, Perlman S, Jiang S, Zhou Y, Du L. Recombinant receptor-binding domains of multiple Middle East respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (MERS-CoVs) induce cross-neutralizing antibodies against divergent human and camel MERS-CoVs and antibody escape mutants. J Virol. 2016;91(1).
Zhang N, Channappanavar R, Ma C, Wang L, Tang J, Garron T, Tao X, Tasneem S, Lu L, Tseng CT, Zhou Y, Perlman S, Jiang S, Du L. Identification of an ideal adjuvant for receptor-binding domain-based subunit vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Cell Mol Immunol. 2016;13(2):180-90.
Du L, Yang Y, Zhou Y, Lu L, Li F, Jiang S. MERS-CoV spike protein – a key target for antivirals. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2017;21(2):131-43.
Tai W, He L, Wang Y, Sun S, Zhao G, Luo C, Li P, Zhao H, Fremont DH, Li F, Jiang S, Zhou Y, Du L. Critical neutralizing fragment of Zika virus EDIII elicits cross-neutralization and protection against divergent Zika viruses. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2018;7(1):7.
Jiang S, Du L. Advances in the research and development of therapeutic antibodies against the Zika virus. Cell Mol Immunol. 2018. doi:10.1038/s41423-018-0043-x.
Zhao G, He L, Sun S, Qiu H, Tai W, Chen J, Li J, Chen Y, Gao Y, Wang Y, Shang J, Ji K, Fan R, Du E, Jiang S, Li F, Du L, Zhou Y. A novel nanobody targeting Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) receptor-binding domain has potent cross-neutralizing activity and protective efficacy against MERS-CoV. J Virol. 2018. pii: JVI.00837-18.