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nfection with HIV stimulates strain-restricted immune responses to immunodominant epitopes. Sequences
within the epitopes are highly variable among strains and can evolve to escape immune pressure. In the past
decade, several human antibodies with broadly cross-neutralizing activities have been derived by multiple groups.
Numerous immunological studies have indicated that immunization with antigens containing native gp120/
gp160 amino acid sequences stimulate strain-restricted immunity and not broadened neutralizing antibodies.
Further analysis suggests that the induction of strain-restricted antibodies may interfere with or prevent the
stimulation of antibodies with cross-neutralizing activities. Rational antigen design technologies such as Immune
Refocusing are intended to improve the breadth of immune responses by reduces the antigenicity of the variable
immunodominant epitopes. Evidence to support this technology and its applications to HIV vaccine design will
Gregory J. Tobin is the chief scientific officer of Biological Mimetics, Inc. in Frederick M.D. Dr. Tobin directs research and development
efforts in the discovery of novel vaccines against HIV-1 and other pathogens that stimulate strain-restricted or otherwise non-protective
forms of immunity. Prior to joining BMI, he headed the Gene Expression/Regulation Group at the NCI-Frederick where he led multiple
projects associated with HIV vaccine discovery and the development of animal models for cancer and AIDS. He earned his Ph.D. in
Medical Sciences from the University of Florida College of Medicine and performed postdoctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh
and the National Cancer Institute
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