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   Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology
   Tulane University School of Medicine
   1430 Tulane Avenue, SL-38
   New Orleans, Louisiana 70112-2699
   Telephone: (504) 988-5150
Ramesh Prabhu, Ph.D.

Research Interest:

- Molecular Virology
- Antiviral and Vaccine development

My research work has been focused on developing peptide-based antiviral against influenza virus and flavivirus. We have developed a peptide-based entry inhibitor targeting HA2 region of viral envelope glycoprotein of influenza viruses. The peptide (Flufirvitide-3) is effective against several strains of influenza virus, H1, H3 and H5 influenza A subtype, as well as influenza B viruses, by blocking infection with an IC 50 in the range of low nanomolar to picomolar using a plaque inhibition assay. In vivo studies this 16mer peptide also potently inhibited signs of influenza in ferrets, the best animal model for influenza virus infection of humans. We are extending this platform to develop anti-viral against flaviviruses.

The other area of interest is focused on developing Virus like particle (VLP) based vaccine against different viruses. The four serotypes of dengue virus are emerging or reemerging world wide, causing frequent epidemics. Because of antibody dependent enhancement (ADE), it is very difficult to develop anti-viral or vaccines against four serotypes of dengue virus. Development of an effective dengue vaccine is crucial both for bioterrorism preparedness and to improve public health in endemic areas. At present, I am working on developing replication incompetent VLP based tetravalent vaccine against dengue virus. VLPs are similar to the infectious virions in the structural and physicochemical features and have been shown to be useful non-infectious serodiagnostic antigens and potential vaccine candidates. The immunogenicity and protective immunity of tetravalent VLP are evaluated in animal models.

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Ramesh Prabhu
Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Tulane University Health Sciences Center
J. Bennett Johnston Building Room 557
1324 Tulane Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70112-2699
Telephone: 504-988-3818
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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu