Postbac Spotlight—Outbreak to Vaccine, Understanding What’s in Between





Chris Stringham, postbac in the Biodefense Research Section in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center

Chris Stringham, postbac in the Biodefense Research Section in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center

Credit
NIAID

Chris Stringham, postbac in the Biodefense Research Section in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center

Credit:
NIAID

Chris Stringham is a postbac in the Biodefense Research Section in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center (VRC) under the supervision of Nancy Sullivan, Ph.D. In this interview, Chris speaks about his research and how his postbac experience has motivated him to pursue a career as a physician-scientist.

Describe your research and how it contributes to the mission of your lab.

The mission of the Biodefense Research Section is to prepare for and respond to outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging viruses by developing vaccines and therapeutics. My research has focused on developing a bispecific antibody for treatment of Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) infection and investigating the quality of humoral immune responses after vaccination to EBOV. By understanding which qualities of circulating antibodies predict protective immunity in preclinical models, we can better evaluate vaccine efficacy in human trials.

What do you enjoy most about being a postbac at the VRC?

My favorite part of being a postbac at the VRC is having the opportunity to pursue translational research questions under renowned experts in immunology and seeing how our conclusions directly benefit patients’ lives around the world.

What was most unique aspect about working at NIH?

The most unique part of working at NIH has been seeing VRC-developed products undergo clinical trials. For example, mAb114 (a product developed in my group) was shown to enhance survival in EBOV-infected patients during a randomized, controlled trial of therapeutics for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

What are your future plans and how has your postbac experience inspired you?

My time training at VRC has inspired me to pursue a career as a physician-scientist studying the pathogenesis of viral diseases and developing therapeutic interventions. Because of VRC’s involvement in both basic science and clinical trials, my training experience has demystified product development and helped me envision a future career in it.





3D rendering of a Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) particle with envelope glycoproteins (GP) shown in green

3D rendering of a Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) particle with envelope glycoproteins (GP) shown in green. GP model derived from the crystal structure of EBOV GP in complex with protective human antibodies 100 and 114 (PDB: 5FHC, Misasi, et. al, Science 2016).

Credit
NIAID

3D rendering of a Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) particle with envelope glycoproteins (GP) shown in green. GP model derived from the crystal structure of EBOV GP in complex with protective human antibodies 100 and 114 (PDB: 5FHC, Misasi, et. al, Science 2016).

Credit:
NIAID
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