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Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center

Improving health around the globe by creating and advancing vaccines and immunotherapies

The Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center focuses the Institute’s strengths in immunology, virology and immuno-oncology disciplines to improve public health around the globe through the creation of new and improved interventions and treatments for some of the most dangerous and widespread diseases.

Wistar has an exceptional track record of success in the areas of vaccine development as well as immunotherapy. Wistar scientists created the standard-of-care protections against rubella, rabies, and rotavirus, the type 1 attenuated polio strain, and the diploid cell lines that allow production of MMR vaccine, among others. More than three billion children have been protected by Wistar’s vaccines.

Top Wistar scientists lead the center’s efforts, working in collaboration with prominent institutions in the Philadelphia region as well as major research organizations around the country and the world. Research areas include:

  • VIRUSES, including SARS-CoV-2, Zika, HIV, HPV, MERS, Ebola, Influenza, rabies, and other emerging viral infections

  • MICROORGANISMS, addressing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including Pseudomonas and MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), and protozoan diseases, such as malaria and toxoplasmosis

  • CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY, for prevention and treatment. The Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center brings together cross-disciplinary expertise within the Institute to focus on new immune-based approaches to use humoral and cellular immunity to control or eliminate cancer.

Leadership and Members


David B. Weiner, Ph.D.

  • Executive Vice President
  • Director, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center
  • W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Distinguished Professor in Cancer Research, Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program, Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center
  • Professor Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine


Luis J. Montaner, DVM, D.Phil.

  • Vice President, Scientific Operations
  • Herbert Kean, M.D., Family Professor
  • Director, HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis Laboratory
  • Professor, Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program
    Professor, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center
  • Associate Director for Shared Facilities, Wistar Cancer Center
  • Scientific Director, Humanized Models of Disease Facility

Amelia Escolano, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center

Hildegund C.J. Ertl, M.D.

  • Professor, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center

Daniel Kulp, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center

Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center
  • Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program, Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center

Ami Patel, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center

Daniel Claiborne, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center
  • Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program, Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center
  • Scientific Director, Histotechnology Facility

Contact Us

For more information on The Wistar Institute Vaccine & Immune Therapy Center, please contact:

Jeneice Hubert
The Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104