Source: Interfolio F180

Michael Zwick

Professor of Immunology and Microbiology
Department of Immunology and Microbiology


Research Focus

One major research focus is on the interactions between antibodies and HIV envelope glycoprotein (Env), especially with Env's gp41 (transmembrane) subunit. By evaluating the capacity of specific antibodies to bind and neutralize the virus on a case-by-case basis, we can identify weaknesses in HIV in a precise and rational way. We design vaccine candidates that target germline precursors of HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) that have the potential to elicit superior antibody responses to HIV. We screen for and identify novel HIV bnAbs, as well as elucidate mechanisms of HIV neutralization by antibodies and small molecule inhibitors. We study HIV envelope protein structure-function and uncover the molecular requirements of HIV neutralization. We study neutralizing epitopes on the ectodomain of gp41 that are proximal to the membrane-spanning domain as well as those that become transiently exposed during fusion. We are developing immunogens and immunization regimens in small animal models to elicit HIV-neutralizing antibodies. We are also studying the molecular interactions between the cytoplasmic tail of HIV gp41 with the Gag (MA) protein to potentially uncover targets to interrupt HIV assembly.


B.S. (Molecular Biology), University of British Columbia, 1992
Ph.D. (Molecular Biology), Simon Fraser University, 1999

Professional Experience

2013-2017 Associate Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
2004-2013 Assistant Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research

Awards & Professional Activities

01/02 to 12/03 - Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Scholarship Award
07/01 - IAS Young Investigator Award (Travel Scholarship)
01/00 to 12/01 - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Post-doctoral Fellowship (NSERC PDF)
09/98 - 12/98 Graduate Fellowship (SFU)
05/96 - 05/98 NSERC Post Graduate Scholarship (PGS B)
05/94 - 05/96 NSERC PGS A
05/92 - 08/92 Faculty of Medicine Summer Student Research Scholarship (UBC)

Selected Publications

Leaman, Daniel P.; Stano, Armando; Chen, Yajing; Zhang, Lei; Zwick, Michael B. Membrane Env Liposomes Facilitate Immunization with Multivalent Full-Length HIV Spikes. Journal of virology 2021, 95, e0000521.

Zwick, Michael B.; Prasad, Vidya M.; Lovendahl, Klaus N.; Lee, Kelly K.; Leaman, Daniel P.; Hodge, Edgar A.; Croft, Jacob T.; Benhaim, Mark A. Cryo-ET of Env on intact HIV virions reveals structural variation and positioning on the Gag lattice. Cell 2022, 185, 641-653.e17.

Zhang, L.; Irimia, A.; He, L.; Landais, Elise; Rantalainen, K.; Leaman, D. P.; Vollbrecht, T.; Stano, A.; Sands, D. I.; Kim, A. S.; Poignard, Pascal; Burton, Dennis R.; Murrell, B.; Ward, Andrew B.; Zhu, Jiang; Wilson, Ian A.; Zwick, Michael B.; Miiro, G.; Serwanga, J.; Pozniak, A.; McPhee, D.; Manigart, O.; Mwananyanda, L.; Karita, E.; Inwoley, A.; Jaoko, W.; DeHovitz, J.; Bekker, L. G.; Pitisuttithum, P.; Paris, R.; Allen, S. An MPER antibody neutralizes HIV-1 using germline features shared among donors. Nature Communications 2019, 10.

Stano, A.; Leaman, Daniel P.; Kim, A. S.; Zhang, L.; Autin, L.; Ingale, J.; Gift, S. K.; Truong, J.; Wyatt, Richard T.; Olson, Arthur J.; Zwick, Michael B. Dense array of spikes on HIV-1 virion particles. Journal of Virology 2017, 91, e00415-17.