Audray Harris, Ph.D.

Structural Informatics Unit

Audray Harris, Ph.D.

Chief, Structural Informatics Unit

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Audray K. Harris, Ph.D.

Major Areas of Research

  • Molecular architecture and assembly of viruses
  • Structure-function and epitope mapping of viral glycoproteins
  • Characterization and structural studies of vaccine immunogens and particles.

Program Description

Our research area is the structural biology of viruses and vaccine particles. One goal of the research is to understand the molecular organization of viruses in order to gain insights into virus assembly and function. Another goal is to study the organization of conserved viral epitopes on vaccine particles to help inform vaccine development. The research program exploits 3D electron microscopy of viruses and protein complexes with antibodies to obtain structural information on epitope disposition and conformational states. Structural analyses are supported by other structural, biochemical, and immunological analyses in order to understand immunogenicity,  antigen-antibody interactions and aid in structure-assisted design of nanoparticles for vaccines. A major focus is on the structure, assembly, and epitope display of influenza proteins and viral particles.

On the left is a 1918 H1 influenza virus-like particle (VLP) as seen by cryo-electron microscopy. On the right is the same VLP rendered in 3D with structural components computationally segmented and colored

On the left is a 1918 H1 influenza virus-like particle (VLP) as seen by cryo-electron microscopy. On the right is the same VLP rendered in 3D with structural components computationally segmented and colored; hemagglutinin and membrane are light blue and internal components (molecular cargo) are red. 

Credit: NIAID
Influenza virus particles

Influenza virus particles

Credit: NIAID




Ph.D., 2002, The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Harris received his Ph.D. in 2002 from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, he joined the National Cancer Institute as a research fellow. In 2012, Dr. Harris was selected as an Earl Stadtman Investigator and in 2013 joined the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases.

Selected Publications

Kanekiyo M, Joyce MG, Gillespie RA, Gallagher JR, Andrews SF, Yassine HM, Wheatley AK, Fisher BE, Ambrozak DR, Creanga A, Leung K, Yang ES, Boyoglu-Barnum S, Georgiev IS, Tsybovsky Y, Prabhakaran MS, Andersen H, Kong WP, Baxa U, Zephir KL, Ledgerwood JE, Koup RA, Kwong PD, Harris AK, McDermott AB, Mascola JR, Graham BS. Mosaic nanoparticle display of diverse influenza virus hemagglutinins elicits broad B cell responses. Nature Immunology 2019 Mar;20(3):362-372. doi: 10.1038/s41590-018-0305-x. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

McCraw DM, Gallagher JR, Torian U, Myers ML, Conlon MT, Gulati NM, Harris AK. Structural analysis of influenza vaccine virus-like particles reveals a multicomponent organization. Scientific Reports 2018 Jul 9;8(1):10342. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-28700-7.

Gallagher JR, McCraw DM, Torian U, Gulati NM, Myers ML, Conlon MT, Harris AK. Characterization of Hemagglutinin Antigens on Influenza Virus and within Vaccines Using Electron Microscopy. Vaccines (Basel). 2018 May 25;6(2). pii: E31. doi: 10.3390/vaccines6020031

Gallagher JR, Torian U, McCraw DM, Harris AK. Characterization of the disassembly and reassembly of the HBV glycoprotein surface antigen, a pliable nanoparticle vaccine platform. Virology. 2017 Feb;502:176-187.

Gallagher JR, Torian U, McCraw DM, Harris AK. Structural studies of influenza virus RNPs by electron microscopy indicate molecular contortions within NP supra-structures. J Struct Biol. 2016 Dec 19. pii: S1047-8477(16)30253-2.

Dowd KA, Ko SY, Morabito KM, Yang ES, Pelc RS, DeMaso CR, Castilho LR, Abbink P, Boyd M, Nityanandam R, Gordon DN, Gallagher JR, Chen X, Todd JP, Tsybovsky Y, Harris A, Huang YS, Higgs S, Vanlandingham DL, Andersen H, Lewis MG, De La Barrera R, Eckels KH, Jarman RG, Nason MC, Barouch DH, Roederer M, Kong WP, Mascola JR, Pierson TC, Graham BS. Rapid development of a DNA vaccine for Zika virus. Science. 2016 Oct 14;354(6309):237-40.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

Research Group

John Gallagher, Neetu Gulati, Alexander Kim, Dustin McCraw, Mallory Myers, Udana Torian

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