Vaccine Design and Delivery Technology: Hybrid Delivery Vector

The Pfeifer Research Group

The Pfeifer research group has designed multiple vehicles for vaccine delivery to enhance the final immune response. These delivery devices have included microbial cells engineered to trigger a strong and directed immune response.


This project is linked to a theme within our group focused upon vaccine delivery and design.  Long-term goals include effective and cost-effective vaccine production for broad distribution.  In this work, we have designed a hybrid delivery vector composed of two components: a cationic polymer (termed a poly (beta-amino ester)) and an E. coli cell (capable of packaging diverse antigen content).  The project cross-sects materials, biotech, medicine, and engineering.  

Resulting Publications

  • C.H. Jones, A. Ravikrishnan, M. Chen, R. Reddinger, M.K. Ahmadi, S. Rane, A.P. Hakansson, B.A. Pfeifer. ‘Hybrid Bio-synthetic Gene Therapy Vector Development and Dual Engineering Capacity’ Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(34):12360-5 (2014)
  • C.H. Jones, A. Gollakota, M. Chen, T.C. Chung, A. Ravikrishnan, G. Zhang, B.A. Pfeifer. ‘Influence of molecular weight upon mannosylated bio-synthetic hybrids for targeted antigen presenting cell gene delivery’ Biomaterials 58:103-11 (2015)
  • Y. Li#, A. Hill#, M. Beitelshees, S. Shao, J.F. Lovell, B. Davidson, P. Knight III, A.P. Hakansson#, B.A. Pfeifer#, C.H. Jones# (#co-first or -corresponding authors). ‘Directed Vaccination against Pneumococcal Disease’ Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(25):6898-903 (2016)
  • M. Beitelshees, Y. Li, B.A. Pfeifer. ‘Enhancing Vaccine Effectiveness with Delivery Technology’ Current Opinion in Biotechnology 42:24-29 (2016)
  • Y. Li, M. Beitelshees, L. Fang, A. Hill, M.K. Ahmadi, M. Chen, B. Davidson, P. Knight III, R.J. Smith, S.T. Andreadis, A. Hakansson, C.H. Jones#, B.A. Pfeifer# (#co-corresponding authors). ‘In situ Pneumococcal Vaccine Production and Delivery through a Hybrid Vector’ Science Advances 2(7):e1600264 (2016)

Students on this Projects

  • Andrew Hill (PhD)
  • Marie Beitelshees (PhD)
  • Roozbeh Nayerhoda (PhD) (BME)
  • Dongwon Park (PhD)