Dennis Burton, PhD

Department of Immunology and Microbiology
California Campus


Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Faculty, Graduate Program

Other Joint Appointments

The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center, The Scripps Research Institute

Research Focus

Antibodies and Infectious Disease

The perception of man as the easy victor over microbes has changed dramatically in the last two decades. Vaccination has offered protection against a number of viral pathogens, but it is increasingly recognized that the strategies used in the past will not be successful against all viruses. We are focused on developing rational vaccine strategies, particularly against HIV and particularly using an approach termed “Reverse Vaccinology 2.0”. In this approach, broadly neutralizing antibodies isolated from natural HIV infection are investigated in interaction with their sole viral target, the HIV Envelope, and the data used to guide immunogen design and immunization strategies. Immunogens are then evaluated in detail in animal models and the results used to iteratively improve immunogens as we move toward an HIV vaccine suitable to protect humans.


Ph.D. (Physical Biochemistry), Lund University, 1978
B.A. (Chemistry), University of Oxford, 1974

Professional Experience

2015-2017 Chairman, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
1991-2017 Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
2015-2015 Distinguished Lecturer, The American Association of Immunologists
-2012 Professor (Joint Appointment), Molecular Biology, Scripps Research
1990-1991 Personal Chair, The University of Sheffield
1989-1991 Visiting Member, Research Institute of Scripps Clinic
1985-1991 Jenner Fellow, Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine
1987-1990 Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, The University of Sheffield
1981-1987 Lecturer in Biochemistry, The University of Sheffield
1980-1981 Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Oxford
1979-1981 Medical Research Council Training Fellowship, University of Oxford

Selected References

All Publications

Burton, D. R. & Topol, E. J. Toward superhuman SARS-CoV-2 immunity?. (2021). Nature Medicine, 27(1), 5-6.

Wec, A. Z., Wrapp, D., Herbert, A. S., Maurer, D. P., Haslwanter, D., Sakharkar, M., Jangra, R. K., Dieterle, M. E., Lilov, A., Huang, D. L., Tse, L. V., Johnson, N. V., et al. Broad neutralization of SARS-related viruses by human monoclonal antibodies. (2020). Science, 369(6504), 731-736. PMCID: PMC7299279.

Carnathan, D. G., Kaushik, K., Ellebedy, A. H., Enemuo, C. A., Gebru, E. H., Dhadvai, P., Rasheed, M. A. U., Pauthner, M. G., Ozorowski, G., Ahmed, R., Burton, D. R., Ward, A. B., et al. Harnessing Activin A Adjuvanticity to Promote Antibody Responses to BG505 HIV Envelope Trimers. (2020). Frontiers in Immunology, 11. PMCID: PMC7308430.

Nogal, B., McCoy, L. E., van Gils, M. J., Cottrell, C. A., Voss, J. E., Andrabi, R., Pauthner, M., Liang, C. H., Messmer, T., Nedellec, R., Shin, M., Turner, H. L., et al. HIV envelope trimer-elicited autologous neutralizing antibodies bind a region overlapping the N332 glycan supersite. (2020). Science Advances, 6. PMCID: PMC7274786.

Burton, D. R. & Walker, L. M. Rational Vaccine Design in the Time of COVID-19. (2020). Cell Host & Microbe, 27(5), 695-698. PMCID: PMC7219357.

Yang, Y. H. R., McCoy, L. E., van Gils, M. J., Andrabi, R., Turner, H. L., Yuan, M., Cottrell, C. A., Ozorowski, G., Voss, J., Pauthner, M., Polveroni, T. M., Messmer, T., et al. Autologous antibody responses to an HIV envelope glycan hole are not easily broadened in rabbits. (2020). Journal of Virology, 94. PMCID: PMC7081899.

Nogal, B., Bianchi, M., Cottrell, C. A., Kirchdoerfer, R. N., Sewall, L. M., Turner, H. L., Zhao, F., Sok, D., Burton, D. R., Hangartner, L. & Ward, A. B. Mapping polyclonal antibody responses in non-human primates vaccinated with HIV env trimer subunit vaccines. (2020). Cell Reports, 30(11), 3755-3765. PMCID: PMC7153566.

Pedreno-Lopez, N., Dang, C. M., Rosen, B. C., Ricciardi, M. J., Bailey, V. K., Gutman, M. J., Gonzalez-Nieto, L., Pauthner, M. G., Le, K., Song, G., Andrabi, R., Weisgrau, K. L., et al. Induction of transient virus replication facilitates antigen-independent isolation of SIV-specific monoclonal antibodies. (2020). Molecular Therapy-Methods & Clinical Development, 16, 225. PMCID: PMC7021589.

Moyer, T. J., Kato, Y., Abraham, W., Chang, J. Y. H., Kulp, D. W., Watson, N., Turner, H. L., Menis, S., Abbott, R. K., Bhiman, J. N., Melo, M. B., Simon, H. A., et al. Engineered immunogen binding to alum adjuvant enhances humoral immunity. (2020). Nature Medicine, 26(3), 430-440. PMCID: PMC7069805.

Pedreno-Lopez, N., Ricciardi, M. J., Rosen, B. C., Song, G., Andrabi, R., Burton, D. R., Rakasz, E. G. & Watkins, D. I. An Automated Fluorescence-Based Method to Isolate Bone Marrow-Derived Plasma Cells from Rhesus Macaques Using SIVmac239 SOSIP.664. (2020). Molecular Therapy-Methods & Clinical Development, 18, 781. PMCID: PMC7476808.