Richard Koup, M.D.

Immunology Laboratory and Immunology Section

Richard Koup, M.D.

Deputy Director, Vaccine Research Center
Chief, Immunology Laboratory and Immunology Section
Acting Chief, Vaccine Immunology Program
Acting Chief, Humoral Immunology Section

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Richard Koup, M.D.

Major Areas of Research

  • Immune correlates of protection from virus infection
  • HIV/SIV replication in vivo
  • T follicular helper cells in HIV/SIV pathogenesis and vaccination

Program Description

The mission of the Immunology Laboratory (IML) is to investigate novel aspects of the cellular immune response to pathogens in support of the rational development of a vaccine against HIV and other lethal human viral pathogens. It is the goal of the IML to rapidly advance the latest information on ways of manipulating the immune response to HIV into practical applications in clinical trials of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. In support of this effort, we emphasize a detailed analysis of the strength, breadth, plasticity, phenotype, and functional characteristics of the cellular immune response to HIV during natural infection and how it does or does not differ from the immune response during other viral infections or that is generated after vaccination.

The overall goals of the IML are accomplished through three projects. First and foremost, understanding how the immune response affects virus acquisition and virus replication—whether in HIV, influenza, Ebola virus, or coronavirus infections—will be crucial in determining appropriate vaccination strategies for these pathogens.



M.D., 1982, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

M.S., 1979, University of Connecticut​, Stamford, CT

B.S., 1978, University of Connecticut​, Stamford, CT

Dr. Koup received his B.S. in biophysics in 1978 and his M.S. in biochemistry in 1979 from the University of Connecticut​. He attended Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he obtained his M.D. in 1982. Dr. Koup served an internship and residency in internal medicine with the Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, from 1982 to 1985. He served in a clinical fellowship (infectious diseases) at the Worcester Memorial Hospital and a research fellowship (viral immunology), at UMass Medical Center, Worcester. Dr. Koup is board certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases. Dr. Koup previously held several academic appointments at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center that include chief, division of infectious disease; professor, internal medicine; professor, microbiology; and the Jay P. Sanford Professor of Infectious Diseases.​​​

Selected Publications

Gilbert PB, DC Montefiori, AB McDermott , Y Fong, D Benkeser, W Deng, H Zhou, CR Houchens, K Martins, L Jayashankar, F Castellino, B Flach, BC Lin, S O'Connell, C McDanal, A Eaton, M Sarzotti-Kelsoe, Y Lu, C Yu, B Borate, LWP van der Laan, N Hejazi, C Huynh, J Miller, HM El Sahly, LR Baden, M Baron, L De La Cruz, C Gay, S Kalams, CF Kelley, MP Andrasik, JG Kublin, L  Corey, KM Neuzil, LN Carp, R Pajon, D Follmann, RO Donis, and RA Koup. Immune Assays Team; Moderna, Inc. Team; Coronavirus Vaccine Prevention Network (CoVPN)/Coronavirus Efficacy (COVE) Team; United States Government (USG)/CoVPN Biostatistics Team. Immune correlates analysis of the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine efficacy clinical trial. Science. 2022 Jan 7;375(6576):43-50.

Asokan M, J Dias, C Liu, A Maximova, K Ernste, A Pegu, K McKee, W Shi, X Chen, C Almasri, W Promsote, DR Ambrozak, L Gama, J Hu, DC Douek, JP Todd, JD Lifson, S Fourati, RP Sekaly, AR Crowley, ME Ackerman, SH Ko, D Kilam, EA Boritz, LE Liao, K Best, AS Perelson, JR Mascola, and RA Koup. Fc-mediated effector function contributes to the in vivo antiviral effect of an HIV neutralizing antibody. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2020 Aug 4;117(31):18754-18763.

Hataye JM, JP Casazza, K Best, CJ Liang, TT Immonen, DR Ambrozak, S Darko, AR Henry, F Laboune, F Maldarelli, DC Douek, NW Hengartner, T Yamamoto, BF Keele, AS Perelson, and RA Koup.  Principles governing establishment versus collapse of HIV-1 cellular spread. Cell Host Microbe. 2019 Dec 11;26(6):748-763.e20.

Ferrando-Martinez S, E Moysi, A Pegu, S Andrews, K Nganou Makamdop, D Ambrozak, AB McDermott, D Palesch, M Paiardini, GN Pavlakis, JM Brenchley, D Douek, JR Mascola, C Petrovas, and RA Koup.  Accumulation of follicular CD8+ T cells in pathogenic SIV infection. J Clin Invest. 2018 May 1;128(5):2089-2103.

Petrovas C, S Ferrando-Martinez, MY Gerner, JP Casazza, A Pegu, C Deleage, A Cooper, J Hataye, S Andrews, D Ambrozak, PM Del Rio Estrada, E Boritz, R Paris, E Moysi, KL Boswell, E Ruiz-Mateos, I Vagios, M Leal, Y Ablanedo-Terrazas, A Rivero, LA Gonzalez-Hernandez, AB McDermott, S Moir, G Reyes-Teran, F Docobo, G Pantaleo, DC Douek, MR Betts, JD Estes, RN Germain, JR Mascola, and RA Koup.  Follicular CD8 T cells accumulate in HIV infection and can kill infected cells in vitro via bispecific antibodies. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Jan 18;9(373):eaag2285.

Yamamoto T, RM Lynch, R Gautam, R Matus-Nicodemos, SD Schmidt, KL Boswell, S Darko, P Wong, Z Sheng, C Petrovas, AB McDermott, RA Seder, BF Keele, L Shapiro, DC Douek, Y Nishimura, JR Mascola, MA Martin, and RA Koup.  Quality and quantity of TFH cells are critical for broadly neutralizing antibody development in SHIVAD8 infection. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Jul 29;7(298):298ra120.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.​

Research Group

The mission of the Immunology Laboratory (IML) is to investigate novel aspects of cellular immune responses to pathogens in support of the rational development of a vaccine against HIV and other lethal human viral pathogens.

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