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Sita Awasthi, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department: Medicine

Contact information
522F Johnson Pavilion
3610 Hamilton walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-573-8422
Fax: 215-349-5111
Lab: 215-573-8444
BS (Biology and Chemistry )
Devi Ahilya University, Indore, India , 1982.
MS (Biochemistry)
Devi Ahilya University, Indore, India , 1984.
PhD (Biochemistry)
Devi Ahilya University, Indore, India , 1989.
Post-Graduate Training
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 1989-1991.
Visiting fellow, NIH/NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), Hamilton, Montana, 1991-1993.
Research Associate, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX, 1993-1995.
Research Associate II, Cancer Center, Health Science Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 1995-1997.
Postdoctoral fellow, Cancer Biology Department, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1997-2002.
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Description of Research Expertise

Major area of my research interests are development of vaccine against genital herpes infection, development of new, and modulate existing animal models to learn and evaluate treatment and prevention options for genital herpes, and HIV co-infections.

Microbiology and Immunology
Expertise in vaccine development
General virology techniques including, production, purification and titration, strategy to create mutant viruses, making pseudo viruses, testing
Expertise in development of animal models for evaluation of infectious agents and vaccines-Developed humanized mouse model for HSV-2 genital infections
General immunological techniques for example antibody response using ELISA, neutralization assay, binding assays, rosetting assay for IgG binding, FACS analysis
Tissue and cell culture techniques, maintenance of cell lines, Transfection studies, Phase contrast, Immuno-fluorescent and confocal-microscopy

Protein Chemistry/ Proteomics
Protein purification using affinity chromatography and HPLC
Recombinant protein expression in E. coli, insect cells and yeast, Structure-function relationship
Protein electrophoresis, 2-Dimentional gel electrophoretic analysis, protein-protein interactions, protein phosphorylation, phosphoaminoacid analysis
Production and characterization of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies
Hands on experience with bioinformatics programs for computational analysis of proteins to predict liner functional motif or structure Molecular and Cellular Biology
Cloning strategy, Northern and Southern blotting,Invirto transcription and translation, RNA manipulation, Protein-RNA interactions, Site directed mutagenesis, RT-PCR quantitation, Gel shift assay, RNAse protection, In situ hybridization, Micro array, Two-hybrid assay
Knowledge of signaling pathways induced under stress conditions and their assays
Hands on experience with Bioinformatics program for computational analysis of biomolecules

General Lab practices
Hands on experience with medical, pharmaceutical, clinical and basic science research information retrieval from various data bases
Trained for handling radioactivity
Knowledge of GLP and good record keeping
Experienced in writing animal protocols for approval from IUCAC

Selected Publications

Awasthi S, Shaw CE, Friedman HM: Improving immunogenicity and efficacy of vaccines for genital herpes containing herpes simplex virus glycoprotein D. Expert Review in Vaccines 13(12): 1-14, Aug 2014.

Awasthi S, Mahairas G, Shaw CE, Huang ML, Posavad C, Corey L, Friedman HM: Evaluation of a dual modality HSV-2 vaccine approach with Ad28/35::UL19/UL47 and gD2/gC2 subunits in mice and guinea pigs. International Herpesvirus Workshop 2014, Kobe, Japan 39: 60, July 2014 Notes: Poster and Oral Presentation.

Friedman HM, Belshe RB, Awasthi S: Better neutralization of HSV-1 than HSV-2 in subjects immunized with the GSK gD2 subunit vaccine International Herpesvirus Workshop, Kobe, Japan 39: 53, July 2014 Notes: Oral and Poster Presentation.

Awasthi S, Friedman HM: Status of prophylactic and therapeutic genital herpes vaccines. Current Opinion in Virology 6: 6-12, June 2014.

Awasthi S, Huang J, Shaw CE, Friedman HM: Blocking herpes simplex virus 2 glycoprotein E immune evasion as an approach to enhance efficacy of a trivalent subunit antigen vaccine for genital herpes J Virol 88(15): 8421-8432, May 2014.

Awasthi S, Belshe R, Friedman HM : Better neutralization of HSV-1 than HSV-2 by antibody from subjects immunized with the GlaxoSmithKline gD2 vaccine. J Infect Dis 210(4), March 2014.

Awasthi S, Friedman HM: A Paradigm Shift: Vaccine-Induced Antibodies as an Immune Correlate of Protection against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Genital Herpes J Infect Dis. (eds.). 209: 813-815, March 2014.

Awasthi S, Balliet JW, Flynn JA, Lubinski JM, Shaw CE, Distefano DJ, Cai M, Brown M, Smith JF, Kowalski R, Swoyer R, Galli J, Copeland V, Rios S, Davidson RC, Salnikova M, Kingsley S, Bryan J, Casimiro DR, Friedman HM : Protection Provided by an HSV-2 Glycoprotein C and D Subunit Antigen Vaccine against Genital HSV-2 Infection in HSV-1 Seropositive Guinea Pigs. J Virol 88(4): 2000-2010, Feb 2014.

Awasthi S, Shaw CE, Friedman HM: HSV-2 glycoproteins C, D and E as a trivalent subunit antigen vaccine for prevention and treatment of genital herpes. International Society of Vaccines (ISV), Philadelphia, PA 8, 2014 Notes: Oral Presentation.

Awasthi S: Immune Evasion by Persistent Viruses and Cancers: Blocking Evasion as a Rational Design to Treat Viral Infections and Cancers. Journal of Antivirals and Antiretrovirals 3(5), November 2013.

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Last updated: 02/09/2015
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