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Hildegund C.J. Ertl, M.D.

Hildegund C.J. Ertl, M.D.

  • Caspar Wistar Professor in Vaccine Research
  • Professor, The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center

  • 215-898-3863, Office

Research in the laboratory of Hildegund C.J. Ertl centers on developing vaccines for an array of diseases and conditions—including AIDS and some forms of cancer—not typically considered to be treated using this approach. These vaccines aim to protect against future infections and look to create new therapies for diseases already affecting people. Projects fall into six broad categories: HIV vaccines, human papilloma virus vaccines, rabies vaccine models, universal influenza vaccine, vaccines to Epstein-Barr virus, and immune response associated with gene therapy using adeno-associated viral vectors.

Dr. Ertl came to The Wistar Institute as an associate professor in 1987. A native of Euskirchen, Germany, Dr. Ertl received her medical degree from University of Göttingen. While in medical school, she began her scientific training as a student in the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine. After research fellowships at the Australian National University and the University of Minnesota, Dr. Ertl joined the faculty of Harvard University before transitioning to Wistar. She became a full professor at Wistar in 1996, and holds professorships at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

In 2007, Dr. Ertl helped write the next chapter in Wistar’s long history of vaccine research and development with the creation of The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center, which she serves as director. The Vaccine Center unites the full expanse of Wistar’s current efforts in immunology and vaccinology with researchers around the world.

The Ertl laboratory has pioneered numerous patented technologies to create new vaccines. Much of the laboratory’s efforts on developing a new preventative vaccine for rabies—a disease that retains a disastrous presence in places across the globe—have yielded useful technologies that the Ertl laboratory is applying to combating other viruses. This includes utilizing a modified chimpanzee virus as a vaccine carrier to induce an immune response against HIV, and a new therapeutic vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer.

Selected Publications

1 - Ertl, HC., The ideal vaccine:until death do us part., Molecular Therapy. 2011 May;19(5):820-2. No abstract available., 21532607

2 - Ertl, HC, Zaia J, rosenberg SA, June CH, Dotti G, Kahn J, Cooper LJ, Corrigan-Curay J, Strome SE., Considerations for the Clinical application of Chimeric antigen Receptor T cells: Observations from a Recombinant DNA Advisory Committe Symposium held June 15, 2010., Cancer Research. 2011 May 1;71(9):3175-3181., 21474674

3 - Martino AT, Suzuki M, Markusic DM, Zolotukhin I, Ryals RC, Moghimi B, Ertl, HC, Muruve DA, Lee B, Herzog RW., The genome of self-complementary AAV vectors increases TLR9-dependent innate immune responses in the liver., Blood. 2011 Apr 7. [Epub ahead of print.], 21474674

4 - Haut LH, Ratcliffe S, Pinto AR, Ertl H., Effect of preexisting immunity to adenovirus on transgene product-specific genital T cell responses on vaccination of mice with a homologous vector., Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2011 Apr 15;203(8):1073-81., 21450997

5 - Hutnick NA, Carnathan DG, Dubey SA, Cox KS, Kierstead L, Makadonas G, Ratcliffe SJ, Lasaro MO, Robertson MN, Casimiro DR, Ertl, HC, Betts MR., Vaccination with Ad5 vectors expands Ad5-specific CD8 T Cells without altering memory phenotype or functionality., PLoS One. 2010 Dec 22;5(12):e14385., 21203546

6 - Li H, Tuyishime S, Wu TL, Giles-Davis W, Zhou D, Xiao W, High KA, Ertl, HC., Adeno-associated virus vectors serotype 2 induce prolonged proliferation of capsid-specific CD8+ T cells in mice., Molecular Therapy. 2011 Mar;19(3):536-46., 21157435

7 - Li H, Tuyishime S, Wu TL, Giles-Davis W, Zhou D, Xiao W, High KA, Ertl, HC., Adeno-associated virus vectors serotype 2 induce prolonged proliferation of capsid-specific CD8(+) T Cells in mice., Molecular Therapy. 2010 Dec 14. [Epub ahead of print], 21157435

8 - Lasaro MO, Haut LH, Zhou X, Xiang Z, Zhou D, Li Y, Giles-Davis W, Li H, Engram JC, Dimenna LJ, Bian A, Sazanovich M, Parzych EM, Kurupati R, Small JC, Wu TL, Leskowitz RM, Klatt NR, Brenchley JM, Garber DA, Lewis M, et al, Ertl, HC., Vaccine-induced T cells provide partial protection against high-dose rectal SIVmac239 challenge of Rhesus Macaques., Molecular Therapy. 2011 Feb;19(2):417-26. [Epub 2010 Nov 16.], 21081905

9 - Haut LH, Lin SW, Tatsis N, Dimenna LJ, Giles-Davis W, Pinto AR, Ertl, HC., Robust genital gag-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses in mice upon intramuscular immunization with simian adenoviral vectors., Eurpean Journal of Immunology. 2010 Sep 21.[Epub ahead of print], 21072875

10 - Zhou D, Zhou X, Bian A, Li H, Chen H, Small JC, Li Y, Giles-Davis W, Xiang Z, Ertl, HC., An efficient method of directly cloning chimanzee adenovirus as a vaccine vector., Nature Protocols. 2010;5(11):1775-85. [Epub 2010 Oct 14.], 21030953