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PhD Thesis Proposal: Nicholas Curtis



2:00pm - 3:00pm ET

Rm 127, ECSC

"Characterization of Serum Antibody Repertoire in Naive and Recall Responses to Infection and Vaccination"


The main scientific challenge my proposed work seeks to understand is: given each individual has a unique history of exposure to viral pathogens how do antibody repertoires develop during first (naïve) encounters and evolve into mature (recall) responses? Critically, understanding the variance between naïve and recall responses will help guide the development of novel vaccines which can elicit protective antibody responses in the short-term (ie, following first infections and vaccinations) and provide critical memory for broadly reactive and protective responses later in life. To answer this question, this work proposes to profile the serum antibody repertoire using a combination of next-generation sequencing and serum antibody proteomics in individuals responding to their first antigen encounters (during childhood against first influenza antigen exposures and also as adults to a novel viral antigen, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein) and to viral antigens which have been encountered multiple times throughout an individual’s life (in a cohort of adults vaccinated against influenza).

Thesis Committee

  • Jiwon Lee (Chair)
  • Margie Ackerman
  • Pamela Rosato


For more information, contact Julia Abraham at julia.s.abraham@dartmouth.edu.