Chemical and Biological Engineering Fall 2018 Seminar – Adel Talaat

Join the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering for a fall seminar on Wednesday, October 17 from 3:15–4:30 p.m. in Perlstein Hall Auditorium. Adel M. Talaat, B.V.Sc, M.V.Sc., Ph.D., will deliver a lecture titled “Nanovaccines in Sickness and in Health.”

The economic success of animal production worldwide hinges on extensive use of vaccines to control bacterial and viral infections. Most of the current antibiotics are not used in food animals to curb the problem of spreading drug-resistant pathogens and anti-viral agents are expensive to use in animals. In humans, several challenges still exist to immunize against devastating diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria. Despite vaccines are available to combat many of the important pathogens that impact animal and human health, most of these vaccines do not provide sufficient immunity against emerging infections and might not be stable under field conditions. Recently, we adopted several platform technologies to develop nanovaccines against key infections using suitable animal models that can be easily adopted to human infections. We tested these technologies using bacterial (Johne’s disease) and viral (avian influenza) diseases in comparison to traditional vaccines. To start, we examined the fate of vaccines prepared by polyanhydride nanoparticles (PAN) in mice and chicken which resulted in no untoward effects on animals, confirming the safety of PAN. We also deciphered the immunogenicity and protective immunity of key antigens encapsulated within PANs in standard immunization and challenge models for testing vaccine efficacy. Immunological assays demonstrated a substantial increase in the levels of antigen-specific T cell responses post-vaccination in the PAN-vaccinated groups as indicated by high percentages of triple cytokine (IFN-γ, IL-2, TNF-α) producing CD8+ T cells, a key marker for successful vaccination against Johne’s disease. More importantly, when animals were immunized with PAN-based vaccines, superior protection as indicated by lower tissue pathogen loads were elicited for both Johne’s disease and avian influenza models, confirming the preventative nature of our vaccine constructs. Currently, we are trying to examine the utility of nanovaccines as therapeutic vaccines for human vaccination to overcome problems associated with traditional vaccine using the tuberculosis model of infection.

Talaat is a microbiologist with a long-term interest in better understanding the pathogenesis of emerging infectious diseases. He received his veterinary and master’s degrees from Cairo University, Egypt and a Ph.D. from the School of Medicine University of Maryland At Baltimore. His is currently professor of microbiology at University of Wisconsin- Madison. His research involves developing new technologies and innovative approaches to understand bacterial pathogenesis and to generate useful therapies (drugs and vaccines). His team is working on the functional genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. In 2011, Talaat started a biotechnology company (Pan Genome Systems, INC.) to further develop intellectual properties generated by the group (vaccine-based patents) into products useful to improve human and animal health. During the last decade, he has mentored 17 undergraduates, 19 graduate students, and 10 post-doctoral fellows in his laboratory at University of Wisconsin-Madison. The results of his career at UW-Madison were shared through more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals.