Skip Navigation
Leading research to understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases
Skip Website Tools

Contact Info

Kathryn Foulds, Ph.D.


Vaccine Research Center (VRC)

Skip Content Marketing
  • Share this:
  • submit to facebook
  • Tweet it
  • submit to reddit
  • submit to StumbleUpon
  • submit to Google +

Kathy Foulds, Ph.D.

Photo of Kathy Foulds, Ph.D. 

Director, Nonhuman Primate Immunogenicity Core, VRC

Major Areas of Research

  • Characterization and quantification of vaccine-elicited immune responses in nonhuman primates
  • Mucosal immune responses in nonhuman primates
  • Development of novel immunological assays for the evaluation of vaccines

Program Description

Immunological evaluations in nonhuman primate (NHP) models are essential for the advancement of vaccine research. In particular, vaccination and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) challenge of macaque species is the best animal model for evaluating candidate HIV vaccines in pre-clinical studies. As a result, the Nonhuman Primate Immunogenicity Core (NIC) was established to support the research efforts of investigators at the VRC.

The NIC manages basic, translational, and preclinical NHP studies. Basic research interests include lymphocyte trafficking, the generation and maintenance of memory responses in systemic and mucosal sites, and pathogenesis following SIV infection. Translational research studies are performed to optimize a variety of different platforms and vectors by studying the effects of different adjuvants, schedules, and delivery methods on immunogenicity. Finally, the data from preclinical testing of vaccines in NHP models is used to support moving clinical products forward to human testing and can be critical to regulatory filings.

All studies that are conducted through the NIC are processed in a standardized manner using the same standard operating procedures (SOPs) for tissue preparation and T-cell assays. For example, the NIC uses a qualified 8-color ICS panel and assay for the measurement of IFN, IL-2, and TNF from CD4 and CD8 T cells. An 11-color variant that allows for the measurement of memory markers in addition to cytokines is also available. For ELISpot, we use the SOP that was developed and qualified for the NHP Core of the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery.

The responsibilities of the NIC include the following:

  • Consulting on the design and implementation of NHP studies
  • Coordinating all studies and sample collections with the VRC Laboratory of Animal Medicine
  • Writing and defending animal study protocols before the Institute’s animal care and use committee
  • Developing, optimizing, and validating SOPs for tissue preparation and immunogenicity assays
  • Maintaining a bank of naïve, vaccinated, and SIV+ tissue samples for use by VRC investigators
  • Implementing all testing according to good laboratory practice guidelines
  • Collating, analyzing, and coordinating data
  • Preparing oral and written presentations of studies for both internal and external use

To perform these operations, the NIC uses state-of-the-art technologies available at the VRC including 18-color FACS analyzers, 18-color sorters (one in BSL-3 containment), reagent manufacturing capabilities, and the Fluidigm real-time PCR system for single-cell gene expression.


Dr. Foulds received her M.S. in biotechnology in 1998 from John Hopkins University and her Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology in 2003 from the University of Pennsylvania. Her academic interests focused on immunology as well as molecular and microbiology. As a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Robert Seder’s laboratory at the VRC, Dr. Foulds investigated the role of IL-10 and IFNγ in regulating the generation of memory T cells following vaccination or infection of mice. Dr. Foulds became the assistant director of flow cytometry for the Immune Tolerance Network in 2008, where she managed three remote flow cytometry cores that acquired data for 15 clinical trials. She analyzed the flow cytometry data for quality control as well as for interpreting study results. Dr. Foulds was also responsible for designing flow cytometry panels and coordinating research and development projects performed at the flow cores. Dr. Foulds accepted the position of co-chief, NIC, in 2008.

Research Group

Mitzi Donaldson, M.S., Biologist

Shing-Fen Kao, M.S., Biologist

David Quinn, Biologist

Selected Publications

Donaldson MM, Kao SF, Eslamizar L, Gee C, Koopman G, Lifton M, Schmitz JE, Sylwester AW, Wilson A, Hawkins N, Self SG, Roederer M, Foulds KE. Optimization and qualification of an 8-color intracellular cytokine staining assay for quantifying T cell responses in rhesus macaques for pre-clinical vaccine studies. J Immunol Methods. 2012 Dec 14;386(1-2):10-21.

Flatz L, Cheng C, Wang L, Foulds KE, Ko SY, Kong WP, Roychoudhuri R, Shi W, Bao S, Todd JP, Asmal M, Shen L, Donaldson M, Schmidt SD, Gall JG, Pinschewer DD, Letvin NL, Rao S, Mascola JR, Roederer M, Nabel GJ. Gene-based vaccination with a mismatched envelope protects against simian immunodeficiency virus infection in nonhuman primates. J Virol. 2012 Aug;86(15):7760-70.

Foulds KE, Donaldson M, Roederer M. OMIP-005: Quality and phenotype of antigen-responsive rhesus macaque T cells. Cytometry A. 2012 May;81(5):360-1.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

For more information on research conducted by Kathy Foulds, Ph.D. visit the Nonhuman Primate Immunogenicity Core.

Last Updated December 20, 2013