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J. Thomas August, M.D.

Photo of Dr. J. Thomas August, M.D.

University Distinguished Service Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences and Oncology

Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Research Interests: Bioinformatic analysis of viral and other protein structures; HIV-1 peptide vaccine; Genetic immunotherapy of infectious diseases and cancer by targeting DNA encoded antigen chimeras to MHC II ...read more

Contact for Research Inquiries

Biophysics Building
725 N. Wolfe St. 311
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Phone: 410-955-8484
Fax: 410-955-1894

Background

Dr. J. Thomas August is the University Distinguished Service Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on peptide and genetic immunotherapy and bioinformatic analysis of the immune structure of virus and cancer proteins.

Dr. August received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from Stanford University School of Medicine. From 1972 to 1976, he served as chairman of the Johns Hopkins Department of Molecular Biology and director of the Division of Biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1976 as director of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. From 2001 to 2004, he was interim director of the Division of Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins Singapore, and he has also served as adjunct professor of medicine at the National University of Singapore.

Over the course of his career, Dr. August’s research has centered on developing vaccines against such viruses as HIV, dengue, influenza, and West Nile. His discovery of lysosome-associate membrane proteins (LAMP) in 1980 led to the development of DNA vaccines that target and enhance the delivery of the antigens to the helper T cell pathway.

Dr. August’s achievements have earned him numerous awards and distinctions, and he has been named a Markey Foundation Scholar in Medical Sciences, a Health Research Council of New York Career Scientist and a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and of Balliol College, Oxford. He has published extensively and has presented his work around the world.

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Titles

  • University Distinguished Service Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences and Oncology
  • Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
  • Professor of Oncology

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The research of Dr. August’s laboratory is directed at programs for peptide and genetic immunotherapy and bioinformatic analysis of the immune structure of virus and cancer proteins. The lab has developed a strategy for targeting the protein products of DNA vaccines to the major histocompatability complex (MHC) class II pathway for antigen presentation to CD4+ helper T cells. The DNA vaccine is constructed as a recombinant gene chimera, containing the antigen sequence attached to the LAMP lysosomal membrane protein that is co-localized with MHC II of antigen presenting cells. This technology is now widely studied for many vaccine applications. Studies in this laboratory are mainly directed at HIV-1 and flavivirus vaccines.

Lab Website: J. Thomas August Laboratory

Selected Publications

Tan PT, Khan AM, August JT. "Highly conserved influenza A sequences as T cell epitopes-based vaccine targets to address the viral variability." Human Vaccines 7(4):402-409, 2011.

Simon GG, Hu Y, Khan AM, Zhou J. Salmon J, Chikhlikar PR, Jung KO, Marques ET, August JT. "Dendritic cell mediated delivery of plasmid DNA encoding LAMP/HIV-1 Gag fusion immunogen enhances T cell epitope responses in HLA DR4 transgenic mice." PLoS ONE 5(1):e8574, 2010.

Tan PT, Heiny AT, Miotto O, Salmon J, Marques ET, Lemonnier F, August JT. "Conservation and diversity of influenza A H1N1 HLA-restricted T cell epitope candidates for epitope-based vaccines." PLoS ONE 5(1):e8754, 2010.

Yang K, Sun K, Srinivasan KN, Salmon J, Marques ET, Xu J, August JT. "Immune responses to T-cell epitopes of SARS CoV-N protein are enhanced by N immunization with a chimera of lysosome-associated membrane protein." Gene Ther. 16(11):1353-1362, 2009.

Koo QY, Khan AM, Jung KO, Ramdas S, Miotto O, Tan TW, Brusic V, Salmon J, August JT. "Conservation and variability of West Nile virus proteins." PLoS ONE 4(4):e5352, 2009.

Khan AM, Miotto O, Nascimento EJ, Srinivasan KN, Heiny AT, Zhang GL, Marques ET, Tan TW, Brusic V, Salmon J, August JT. "Conservation and variability of dengue virus proteins: implications for vaccine design." PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2(8):e272, 2008.

Heiny AT, Miotto O, Srinivasan KN, Khan AM, Zhang GL, Brusic V, Tan TW, August JT. "Evolutionarily conserved protein sequences of influenza a viruses, avian and human, as vaccine targets." PLoS One. 2007 Nov 21;2(11):e1190.

Khan AM, Miotto O, Heiny AT, Salmon J, Srinivasan KN, Nascimento EJ, Marques ET Jr, Brusic V, Tan TW, August JT. "A systematic bioinformatics approach for selection of epitope-based vaccine targets." Cell Immunol. 2006 Dec;244(2):141-7. Epub 2007 Apr 16.

Gupta V, Tabiin TM, Sun K, Chandrasekaran A, Anwar A, Yang K, Chikhlikar P, Salmon J, Brusic V, Marques ET, Kellathur SN, August TJ. "SARS coronavirus nucleocapsid immunodominant T-cell epitope cluster is common to both exogenous recombinant and endogenous DNA-encoded immunogens." Virology. 2006 Mar 30;347(1):127-39.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Siegfried Ullmann Professor of Molecular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Fellow, 1971 - 1972
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1994
  • Research Fellow, American Heart Association, 1957 - 1959
  • Career Scientist, Health Research Council of the City of New York, 1962 - 1971
  • University Distinguished Service Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2001
  • Markle Scholar in Medical Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1960 - 1965
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1954
  • NIAID R37 Merit Award, 2002
  • Focused Giving Award, Johnson and Johnson , 1982
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