Even the most heavily mutating pathogens (influenza, HIV) have sites on their surfaces that cannot mutate. Unfortunately, the human immune system almost always misses these sites when responding to a vaccine or live infection, instead binding to sites that the pathogen can easily evade through mutation. As a consequence, influenza vaccines need to be redesigned every year, HIV vaccines have never been effective, and progress is slow for new vaccine development in emerging disease areas.
Over the last seven years, our expertise in systems immunology and antibody discovery has given us a unique insight into the biological process of epitope selection, and revealed a novel method for focusing the immune response against specific surfaces of our choosing.
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