Robert Seder, M.D.

Vaccine Immunology Program

Robert Seder, M.D.

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Provides direct clinical care to patients at NIH Clinical Center

Robert Seder, M.D.

Major Areas of Research

  • B cell immunobiology of influenza
  • Development of high throughput analyses aimed at defining the B cell immunogenetics
  • Development and deployment of high throughout analysis that characterize HIV, RSV and Influenza humoral responses

View all research conducted at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC)

Program Description

Vaccine discovery and development requires intimate knowledge of the immune responses elicited by experimental immunization during clinical evaluation. The Vaccine Immunology Program (VIP) has assembled functional groups that engage in basic and translational B cell immunobiology research (including high throughput automated immunoglobulin and transcriptome analyses) in addition to standardized end-point analyses for clinical trials. The goal was to bring these functional groups under a single program in order to facilitate the coordinated development and deployment of state-of-the-art technologies and analyses, which can be utilized effectively for vaccine discovery, early development and testing of clinical products.

In recent years, the VIP-research group has focused upon in-depth analyses of VRC influenza vaccine trials, specifically the complex immunobiology characterizing the B cells recognizing influenza HA-stem region.  For example, from an influenza group 1 H5N1 vaccine trial the VIP-research team have described common immunoglobulin lineages that consistently and reproducibly occur within human populations and are capable of neutralizing group 1 and 2 influenza strains by targeting the HA-stem region. 

Also, within the VIP reside both the translational and clinical testing laboratories are responsible for the development, implementation and eventual deployment of qualified virus neutralization, humoral and cellular analyses appropriate for prospective licensure of VRC-NIAID vaccines. In addition, within the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the VIP is involved in the Comprehensive Cellular- Vaccine Immune-Monitoring Corsortium (CC-VIMC) led by Dr Koup.

In this role, the VIP-translational research team has applied novel B cell repertoire analyses designed to specifically analyze the next generation of HIV vaccine strategies.  The VIP laboratories are currently preparing for the analyses of the first in-person clinical trial (in collaboration with CAVD and IAVI) of immunogens aimed at driving HIV CD4bs specific B lineages to ultimately elicit highly mutated neutralizing VRC01-class antibodies.

In conclusion, VIP continually extends its capabilities and technologies in order to better understand the immune response elicited by products developed at the VRC-NIAID-NIH and beyond.  Overall the goal of the Program is to improve the understanding of T- and B-cell immunobiology to further efficacious vaccination strategies directed towards HIV, Influenza and other potentially preventable diseases.



M.D., 1986, Tufts University, Medford, MA

B.A., 1981, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Dr. Seder received his B.A. in Natural Science at Johns Hopkins University in 1981 and his M.D. at Tufts University in 1986 and completed his residency in internal medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Seder did his postdoctoral training at NIAID with Dr. William Paul. He is currently Chief of the Cellular Immunology Section in the Vaccine Research Center in the NIAID, NIH. Dr. Seder's laboratory has focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which vaccines and adjuvants mediate protective immunity in mouse, and non-human primate models of HIV, Malaria, Tuberculosis and cancer. His work has demonstrated the importance of the quality of T cell responses in mediating protection against various infections and the importance of the route of vaccination in generating tissue resident T cells for protection against malaria and TB. Dr. Seder has translated his scientific discoveries and led the first in human clinical studies using intravenous vaccination to generate protective immunity with an attenuated malaria vaccine and recently showed that a monoclonal antibody he discovered can prevent malaria infection against intense seasonal transmission in African adults. Over the two years, Dr. Seder has helped lead the pre-clinical development of the Moderna mRNA vaccine against COVID. This provided pre-clinical data for demonstrating safety and efficacy of the Moderna vaccine in animals prior to the initiation of the pivotal Phase 3 study in humans and more recently provided the scientific basis for boosting humans with mRNA against variants.

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