Zika Virus Vaccination Immunity
Pierson and his colleagues study the immune response to flaviviruses and the molecular and structural basis for antibody-mediated protection following natural infection and vaccination. By studying the flavivirus lifecycle, biology, and infection process, Pierson is working to advance therapeutics to counter the various flavivirus-associated diseases and conditions, such as dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile fever. He also investigates the roles of the envelope glycoproteins during the flavivirus lifecycle and humoral immunity to flavivirus infection. In response to the proliferation of Zika virus (ZIKV) in South and Central America, Pierson’s recent efforts surround ZIKV humoral immunity and vaccine development. He and fellow researchers recently developed two experimental DNA vaccines against Zika virus that successfully protected monkeys from infection by Zika.
Pierson received his PhD in immunology in 2001 from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine before conducting postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the NIAID in 2005.