Stuart N. Isaacs

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Medicine
Department: Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Division of Infectious Diseases
319 Johnson Pavilion
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6073
Office: 215-573-7515
Fax: 215-349-5111
Lab: 215-746-8428
B.A. (Chemistry/Biology)
Brandeis University, 1981.
M.D. (Medicine)
Yale University School of Medicine, 1985.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Viral pathogenesis and viral evasion strategies from the host immune response. Recombinant vaccinia viruses as vaccine vectors.
Counter-bioterrorism research focusing on smallpox.

Key words: Vaccinia virus, Recombinant vaccines, poxvirus , pathogenesis, smallpox, smallpox therapeutics.

Description of Research
Dr. Isaacs' laboratory focuses on using poxviruses as a model system to study viral proteins that are involved in viral pathogenesis, dissemination, and evasion of the host immune response. Poxviruses, which are used widely as a tool for research and vaccine development, express proteins that inhibit complement activation, bind IL-1, TNF, and interferons, and decrease the host inflammatory response by other mechanisms. Elucidation of these processes could lead to a safer virus vector. Furthermore, the study of these defense molecules encoded by the virus might give insights into the control of inflammation, as well as, the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs. The laboratory has also been pursuing the use of vaccinia virus as a vaccine vector. They are investigating a novel way of targeting foreign antigens to the outer envelope of the vaccinia virion. Presentation of antigens in this manner may result in enhanced immunity against the foreign antigen when compared to standard vaccinia virus vectors. The lab is also involved with anti-bioterrorism research. Dr. Isaacs was the poxvirus program project leader for the Middle Atlantic Regional Center of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. His lab is developing safer smallpox vaccines as well as therapies to treat smallpox and complications from the current smallpox.

Lab personnel:
Edward Alexander - Research Specialist
Yuhong Xiao, M.D., Ph.D. - Senior Research Investigator

Past lab personnel:
Asha Abdool
Jeanie Chu
Matt Cohen
Brian DeHaven
Xin Fan
Natasha Girgis
Elizabeth Herrara
Heesun Kwak
Shamim Mohammad
Kendra Viner
Jessica Weaver

Description of Clinical Expertise

General Infectious Diseases

Selected Publications

Girgis, N.M., DeHaven, B.C., Fan, X, Viner, K.M., Shamim, M., Isaacs, S.N.: Cell surface expression of the vaccinia virus complement control protein is mediated by interaction with the viral A56 protein and protects infected cells from complement attack. Journal of Virology 82(9): 4205-4214, May 2008.

Buchman, G.W., Cohen, M.E., Xiao, Y., Richardson-Harman, N., Silvera, P., DeTolla, L.J., Davis, H.J., Eisenberg, R.J., Cohen, G.H., Isaacs, S.N. : A protein-based smallpox vaccine protects non-human primates from a lethal monkeypox virus challenge. Vaccine 28(40): 6627-36, Sep 2010.

DeHaven, B.C., Girgis, N.M., Xiao, Y., Hudson, P.N., Olson, V.A., Damon, I.K., Isaacs, S.N. : Poxvirus complement control proteins are expressed on the cell surface through an intermolecular disulfide bridge with the viral A56 protein Journal of Virology 84(21): 11245-11254, Nov 2010.

Isaacs, S.N. : A stimulating way to improve T cell responses to poxvirus-vectored vaccines. Journal of Clinical Investigation 121(1): 19-21, Jan 2011 Notes: Invited, peer-reviewed commentary.

Girgis, N.M., DeHaven, B.C., Xiao, Y., Alexander, E., Viner, K.M., Isaacs, S.N.: The vaccinia virus complement control protein modulates adaptive immune responses during infection. Journal of Virology 85(6): 2547-56, Mar 2011 Notes: Selected by Editors of Journal of Virology for "Spotlight Feature", which highlights 5 articles as meritorious.

Cohen ME, Xiao Y, Eisenberg RJ, Cohen GH, Isaacs SN: Antibody against Extracellular Vaccinia Virus (EV) Protects Mice through Complement and Fc Receptors. PLoS ONE 6(6): e20597, Jun 2011.

Hudson, P.N., Self, J., Weiss, S., Braden, Z., Xiao, Y., Girgis, N.M., Emerson, G., Hughes, C., Sammons, S.A., Isaacs, S.N., Damon, I.K., Olson, V.A.: Elucidating the role of the complement control protein in monkeypox pathogenicity. PLoS One 7(4): e35086, Apr 2012.

Xiao, Y. and Isaacs, S.N.: Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Blocking with Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) - Not all BSAs are alike. Journal of Immunological Methods 384(1-2): 148-51, Oct 2012.

Xiao, Y., Zeng, Y., Alexander, E., Mehta, S., Joshi, S.B., Buchman, G.W., Volkin, D.B., Middaugh, C.R., Isaacs, S.N.: Adsorption of recombinant poxvirus L1-protein to aluminum hydroxide/CpG vaccine adjuvants enhances immune responses and protection of mice from vaccinia virus challenge. Vaccine 31(2): 319-326, Jan 2013.

Isaacs, S.N. (Editor): Vaccinia Virus and Poxvirology: Methods and Protocols, 2nd Edition. in Methods in Molecular Biology. Humana Press : Springer, 890, Jul 2012.

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Last updated: 03/26/2015
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