James Voss, PhD

Institute Investigator
Department of Immunology and Microbiology


Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

Genetic limitations imposed by the antibody repertoire are preventing the successful elicitation of protective HIV broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) responses through vaccination. Inspired by the success of antigen receptor engineered T cells as treatment for cancer, our lab is exploring the possibility of using genome engineering technologies to add HIV bnAbs to the antibody repertoire as functional antigen receptors in B cells. Autologously engrafted modified cells could then be vaccinated to yield durable antibody responses and memory which could protect against HIV or contribute to a functional cure. Advantages of such an 'engineered B cell vaccine are: 1) bnAbs could mature in affinity in response to an evolving pathogen; 2) bnAb responses would be subject to tolerance mechanisms; 3) titers could be increased by boosting as needed; 4) bnAbs would be expressed as all isotypes and; 5) bnAbs would be tolerogenic.

We are developing Engineered B cell Vaccines for an HIV cure in the wild type C57B6/J model because 1) engineered B cells can be heterologously engrafted; 2) donor vs. recipient cells can be easily identified using the CD45 lineage marker; 3) the C57B6/J antibody repertoire is also genetically restricted in its ability to generate HIV bnAbs. 4) Immunoglobulin knock in mice have shown that C57B6/J B cells expressing human variable regions can function normally with respect to antigen dependant maturation. We use this model to test engineering strategies, vaccination parameters and characterize safety. 


Ph.D., Structural Virology, University of Paris

Professional Experience

2006-2011: Ph.D. Structural Virology, Institut Pasteur, University of Paris
2011-2017: Postdoctoral Fellow, Scripps Research
2018-present: Institute Investigator

Selected References

Reprogramming the antigen specificity of B cells using genome-editing technologies. Voss JE, Gonzalez-Martin A, Andrabi R, Fuller RP, Murrell B, McCoy LE, Porter K, Huang D, Li W, Sok D, Le K, Briney B, Chateau M, Rogers G, Hangartner L, Feeney AJ, Nemazee D, Cannon P, Burton DR. Elife. 2019 Jan 17;8

Glycans Function as Anchors for Antibodies and Help Drive HIV Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Development. Andrabi R, Su CY, Liang CH, Shivatare SS, Briney B, Voss JE, Nawazi SK, Wu CY, Wong CH, Burton DR. Immunity. 2017 Nov 21;47(5):1004.

Elicitation of Neutralizing Antibodies Targeting the V2 Apex of the HIV Envelope Trimer in a Wild-Type Animal Model. Voss JE, Andrabi R, McCoy LE, de Val N, Fuller RP, Messmer T, Su CY, Sok D, Khan SN, Garces F, Pritchard LK, Wyatt RT, Ward AB, Crispin M, Wilson IA, Burton DR. Cell Rep. 2017 Oct 3;21(1):222-235.

Reproducing SIVΔnef vaccine correlates of protection: trimeric gp41 antibody concentrated at mucosal front lines. Voss JE, Macauley MS, Rogers KA, Villinger F, Duan L, Shang L, Fink EA, Andrabi R, Colantonio AD, Robinson JE, Johnson RP, Burton DR, Haase AT. AIDS. 2016 Oct 23;30(16):2427-2438.

Holes in the Glycan Shield of the Native HIV Envelope Are a Target of Trimer-Elicited Neutralizing Antibodies. McCoy LE, van Gils MJ, Ozorowski G, Messmer T, Briney B, Voss JE, Kulp DW, Macauley MS, Sok D, Pauthner M, Menis S, Cottrell CA, Torres JL, Hsueh J, Schief WR, Wilson IA, Ward AB, Sanders RW, Burton DR. Cell Rep. 2016 Aug 30;16(9):2327-38. 

Mucosal Humoral Immune Response to SIVmac239∆nef Vaccination and Vaginal Challenge. Zeng M, Smith AJ, Shang L, Wietgrefe SW, Voss JE, Carlis JV, Li Q, Piatak M Jr, Lifson JD, Johnson RP, Haase AT. J Immunol. 2016 Mar 15;196(6):2809-18.

Identification of Common Features in Prototype Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies to HIV Envelope V2 Apex to Facilitate Vaccine Design. Andrabi R, Voss JE, Liang CH, Briney B, McCoy LE, Wu CY, Wong CH, Poignard P, Burton DR. Immunity. 2015 Nov 17;43(5):959-73. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.

Live simian immunodeficiency virus vaccine correlate of protection: local antibody production and concentration on the path of virus entry. Li Q, Zeng M, Duan L, Voss JE, Smith AJ, Pambuccian S, Shang L, Wietgrefe S, Southern PJ, Reilly CS, Skinner PJ, Zupancic ML, Carlis JV, Piatak M Jr, Waterman D, Reeves RK, Masek-Hammerman K, Derdeyn CA, Alpert MD, Evans DT, Kohler H, Müller S, Robinson J, Lifson JD, Burton DR, Johnson RP, Haase AT. J Immunol. 2014 Sep 15;193(6):3113-25. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1400820.

Secreted dengue virus nonstructural protein NS1 is an atypical barrel-shaped high-density lipoprotein. Gutsche I, Coulibaly F, Voss JE, Salmon J, d'Alayer J, Ermonval M, Larquet E, Charneau P, Krey T, Mégret F, Guittet E, Rey FA, Flamand M. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 10;108(19):8003-8. 

Correct assembly of iron-sulfur cluster FS0 into Escherichia coli dimethyl sulfoxide reductase (DmsABC) is a prerequisite for molybdenum cofactor insertion. Tang H, Rothery RA, Voss JE, Weiner JH. J Biol Chem. 2011 Apr 29;286(17):15147-54. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.213306.

Glycoprotein organization of Chikungunya virus particles revealed by X-ray crystallography. Voss JE, Vaney MC, Duquerroy S, Vonrhein C, Girard-Blanc C, Crublet E, Thompson A, Bricogne G, Rey FA. Nature. 2010 Dec 2;468(7324):709-12.