National Centers for Disease Control

Tbilisi, Georgia

National Centers for Disease Control

Tbilisi, Georgia
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News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Dec 14, 2016) -  GeoVax Labs, Inc. ( : GOVX), a biotechnology company specializing in developing human vaccines, announced today that Farshad Guirakhoo, PhD, has been promoted to the role of Chief Scientific Officer, effective January 1, 2017. Dr. Guirakhoo joined GeoVax in 2015 as Senior Vice President of Research and Development. Robert T. McNally, PhD, GeoVax's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "For the past year, Farshad has been a driving force behind the growth of our vaccine development pipeline, and we are pleased to expand his role at this critical time for our company. In the role of Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Guirakhoo will lead the scientific advancement of GeoVax's technology pipeline as the Company identifies and pursues new opportunities to address significant medical needs." Dr. McNally continued, "Harriet Robinson, PhD, will continue to hold an instrumental position with GeoVax as Chief Scientific Officer Emeritus. In this role, she will continue to direct our HIV vaccine program as well as continuing to serve as principal investigator on grants to GeoVax from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Robinson, a co-founder of GeoVax, will also continue to serve as a member of our Board of Directors." Before joining GeoVax in 2015, Dr. Guirakhoo served in senior management and scientific roles within the biotechnology industry with Vaxess Technologies, Hookipa Biotech, Sanofi Pasteur, Acambis, Inc. and OraVax, Inc. He earned his Ph.D. in Virology at the Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, holds a M.Sc. degree in Genetics and a B.Sc. degree in Biology. He conducted his Post-Doctoral training at the Medical University of Vienna and at the US National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases in Fort Collins, CO. In his scientific career, Dr. Guirakhoo has filed over 90 patent applications and is author/co-author of more than 80 peer reviewed publications, including book chapters. He was instrumental in the development and commercialization of the Imojev Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine and the Dengvaxia vaccine for Dengue virus. In 2014, he was named as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Vaccines. About GeoVax GeoVax Labs, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases using its Modified Vaccinia Ankara-Virus Like Particle (MVA-VLP) vaccine platform. The Company's development programs are focused on vaccines against HIV, Zika, and hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, and Lassa). GeoVax recently began programs to evaluate the use of its MVA-VLP platform in cancer immunotherapy and for therapeutic use in chronic Hepatitis B infections. GeoVax's vaccine platform supports in vivo production of non-infectious VLPs from the cells of the very person receiving the vaccine, mimicking a natural infection, stimulating both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system to recognize, prevent, and control the target infection. For more information, visit www.geovax.com.


Rajanna C.,University of Florida | Ouellette G.,U.S. Army | Ouellette G.,SAIC | Ouellette G.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 16 more authors.
FEMS Microbiology Letters | Year: 2013

We describe here a strain of Yersinia pestis, G1670A, which exhibits a baseline mutation rate elevated 250-fold over wild-type Y. pestis. The responsible mutation, a C to T substitution in the mutS gene, results in the transition of a highly conserved leucine at position 689 to arginine (mutS(L689R)). When the MutSL689R protein of G1670A was expressed in a ΔmutS derivative of Y. pestis strain EV76, mutation rates observed were equivalent to those observed in G1670A, consistent with a causal association between the mutS mutation and the mutator phenotype. The observation of a mutator allele in Yersinia pestis has potential implications for the study of evolution of this and other especially dangerous pathogens. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Jiang J.,Naval Medical Research Center | You B.J.,Naval Medical Research Center | Liu E.,Naval Medical Research Center | Apte A.,Naval Medical Research Center | And 17 more authors.
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases | Year: 2012

A previous surveillance study of human pathogens within ticks collected in the country of Georgia showed a relatively high infection rate for Rickettsia raoultii, R. slovaca, and R. aeschlimannii. These 3 spotted fever group rickettsiae are human pathogens: R. raoultii and R. slovaca cause tick-borne lymphadenopathy (TIBOLA), and R. aeschlimannii causes an infection characterized by fever and maculopapular rash. Three quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays, Rraoul, Rslov, and Raesch were developed and optimized to detect R. raoultii, R. slovaca, and R. aeschlimannii, respectively, by targeting fragments of the outer membrane protein B gene (ompB) using species-specific molecular beacon or TaqMan probes. The 3 qPCR assays showed 100% specificity when tested against a rickettsiae DNA panel (n= 20) and a bacteria DNA panel (n= 12). The limit of detection was found to be at least 3 copies per reaction for all assays. Validation of the assays using previously investigated tick nucleic acid preparations, which included Rickettsia-free tick samples, tick samples that contain R. raoultii, R. slovaca, R. aeschlimannii, and other Rickettsia spp., gave 100% sensitivity for all 3 qPCR assays. In addition, a total of 65 tick nucleic acid preparations (representing 259 individual ticks) collected from the country of Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2009 was tested using the 3 qPCR assays. R. raoultii, R. slovaca, and R. aeschlimannii were not detected in any ticks (n= 31) from the Republic of Azerbaijan, but in the ticks from the country of Georgia (n= 228) the minimal infection rate for R. raoultii and R. slovaca in Dermacentor marginatus was 10% and 4%, respectively, and for R. aeschlimannii in Haemaphysalis sulcata and Hyalomma spp. it was 1.9% and 20%, respectively. © 2012.

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