Bryce Chackerian, PhD


Dr. Chackerian grew up in Northern California, studied as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and received his PhD from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Washington under the mentorship of Julie Overbaugh.  He then trained in John Schiller's laboratory at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2004 he joined the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of New Mexico.

Areas of Specialty

Vaccine development -- particularly the use of virus particles as platforms for antigen display.

Key Publications

From the past 3 years:

Fowler, A., Sampson, M., Remaley, A.T., and B. Chackerian (2021)A VLP-based vaccine targeting ANGPTL3 lowers plasma triglycerides in mice. Vaccine, In Press

Ronsard, L., Yousif, A., Peabody, J., Okonkowo, V., Devant, P., Mogus, A.T., Barnes, R., Rohrer, D., Lonberg, N., Peabody, D., Chackerian, B., and D. Lingwood (2021).    Engineering an antibody V gene-selective vaccine.  Frontiers in Immunology, In Press.

Lucie Jelínková, Hugo Jhun, Allison Eaton, Nikolai Petrovsky, Fidel Zavala, & Bryce Chackerian (2021)An Epitope-based Malaria Vaccine Targeting the Junctional Domain of Circumsporozoite Protein. npj Vaccines 2021 Jan 21;6(1):13.

Mogus, A.T.; Liu, L.; Jia, M.; Ajayi, D.T.; Xu, K.; Kong, R.; Huang, J.; Yu, J.; Kwong, P.D.; Mascola, J.R.; Ho, D.D.; Tsuji, M.; Chackerian, B. (2020) Virus-Like Particle Based Vaccines Elicit Neutralizing Antibodies against the HIV-1 Fusion Peptide. Vaccines, 8, 765.

Joyner JA, Daly SM, Peabody J, Triplett KD, Pokhrel S, Elmore BO, Adebanjo D, Peabody DS, Chackerian B, & PR Hall (2020)Vaccination with VLPs Presenting a Linear Neutralizing Domain of S. aureus Hla Elicits Protective ImmunityToxins. 2020;12(7):450. Published 2020 Jul 11. doi:10.3390/toxins12070450

Bryce Chackerian and David S. Peabody (2020). Factors that Govern the induction of long-lived Plasma Cells. Viruses. 12, 74; doi:10.3390/v12010074.

Chen, Z., Wholey, W., Najafabadi, A.H., Moon, J.J., Grigorova, I., Chackerian, B., and W. Cheng (2020). Self-Antigens Displayed on Liposomal Nanoparticles above a Threshold of Epitope Density Elicit Class-switched Autoreactive Antibodies Independent of T-cell HelpJournal of Immunology. ePub: 13 December 2019. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1801677

Frietze KM.*, Core SB., Linville A., Chackerian B., and DS Peabody (2020). Assessing antibody specificity in human serum using deep sequence-coupled biopanning. Methods Mol Biol 2020;2070:157-171.

Sangesland, M., Ronsard, L., Kazer, S.W., Bals, J., Boyoglu-Barnum, S., Yousif, A.S., Barnes, R., Feldman, J., Quirindongo-Crespo, M., McTamney, P.M., Rohrer, D., Lonberg, N., Chackerian, B., Graham, B.S., Kanekiyo, M., Shalek, A.K., and D. Lingwood (2019). Germline-Encoded Affinity for Cognate Antigen Enables Vaccine Amplification of a Human Broadly Neutralizing Response against Influenza Virus. Immunity. 2019 Sep 20 Doi:

Maphis, N., Peabody, J.*, Crossey, E.*, Jiang, S., Ahmad, F., Alvarez, M., Monsoor, S.K., Yaney, A., Yang, Y. Sillerud, L., Wilson, C., Selwyn, R., Brigman, J., Cannon, J., Peabody, D.S., Chackerian, B., and K. Bhaskar (2019)Qß Virus-like particle-based vaccine induces robust immunity and protects against tauopathynpj Vaccines 4, Article number: 26. 03 June 2019

Janitzek, C.M., Peabody, J.*, Thrane, S., Carlsen, P.H.R., Theander, T.G., Salanti, A., Chackerian, B., Nielsen, M.A., and A.F. Sander (2019). A proof-of-concept study for the design of a VLP-based combinatorial HPV and placental malaria vaccine. Scientific Reports. 2019 Mar 27; 9(1): 5260. 

Kunda, N.K., Peabody, J.*, Zhai, L., Price, D.N., Chackerian, B., Tumban, E.*, and P. Muttil (2019).  Evaluation of the thermal stability and the protective efficacy of liquid and spray-dried HPV vaccine, Gardasil 9. B.  2019 Mar 18. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2019.1593727.

Frietze, KM*, Lijek, R, and B Chackerian (2018).  Applying lessons from human papillomavirus vaccines to the development of vaccines against Chlamydia trachomatis. Expert Reviews in Vaccines.  2018 Oct 9:1-8. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2018.1534587


The Chackerian laboratory is interested in vaccine development; particularly the use of virus particles as platforms for antigen display. It has long been recognized that highly dense repetitive antigens such as virus particles induce strong immune responses. Our lab has demonstrated that antigens that are normally poorly immunogenic can be made highly immunogenic by displaying them in a multivalent, repetitive format on the surface of virus particles; essentially using viruses as scaffolds to produce novel vaccines.

This ability to enhance immunogenicity does not only apply to epitopes derived from traditional targets, such as pathogens, but also to self-antigens which are normally subject to the mechanisms of B cell tolerance. Using virus-like particles derived from RNA bacteriophage, the Chackerian lab has collaborated with David Peabody to develop a variety of tools for vaccine production and to implement a system that allows vaccines to be rapidly identified by affinity selection.

The laboratory has projects to develop novel vaccines targeting Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (in collaboration with Ann Jerse and the Gonorrhea Vaccine Cooperative Research Center), Chlamydia (in collaboration with Kathryn Frietze), Malaria (in collaboration with Fidel Zavala and Nik Petrovsky), HIV (in collaboration with Daniel Lingwood and Moriya Tsuji), Influenza (in collaboration with Daniel Lingwood), Zika virus, Staphylococcus (in collaboration with Pam Hall), Alzheimer's Disease (in collaboration with Kiran Bhaskar), and high cholesterol (in collaboration with Alan Remaley). To learn more about our work, follow us on Twitter.

Group photo.
Chackerian Lab (October 2019)

Lab Members:

  • Julianne Peabody (PhD student)
  • Dr. Lucie Jelinkova (Post-doctoral fellow)
  • Dr. Alex Francian (Post-doctoral fellow)
  • Rabia Khan (MS student)
  • Javier Leo (Research Technician)
  • Bryce Roberts (Research Scientist)

Lab Alumni:

  • Dr. Zoe Hunter (PhD student), Senior Manager, Publications at Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie company
  • Marisa Rangel Durfee (Research Technician), Grants Program Manager at Circumvent Pharamaceuticals
  • Dr. Brett Manifold-Wheeler (Research Technician), Post-doctoral fellow, UNM Cancer Center
  • Dr. Paul Durfee (Research Technician), Senior Scientist at Janssen Inc.
  • Alex Medford (MS student), Scientist, Colorado Department of Health
  • Dr. John O'Rourke (Research Assistant Professor), Director of Assay Development, BennuBio Inc.
  • Dr. Jayne Christen (Post-doctoral fellow), Scientific Project Manager, Leidos/NCI Frederick
  • Dr. Mitchell Tyler (PhD student), Senior Analyst, National Center for Medical Intelligence
  • Dr. Erin Crossey (MD/PhD student), Pulmonary Fellowship Program, Boston University
  • Dr. Ebenezer Tumban (Post-doctoral fellow/Research scientist), Associate Professor, Texas Tech University (Amarillo)
  • Dr. Kathryn Frietze (Post-doctoral fellow/Research Assistant Professor), Assistant Professor, UNM School of Medicine
  • Susan Core (Sr Research Specialist), Research Specialist, Frietze Laboratory, UNM
  • Dr. Naomi Lee (Post-doctoral fellow), Assistant Professor, Northern Arizona University
  • Dr. Alemu Mogus (Post-doctoral fellow), Post-doctoral fellow, University of Virginia
  • Dr. Alexandra Fowler (PhD student), Post-doctoral fellow at Merck
  • Ashvini Vaidya (MS student and research scientist), Medical student at Emory University
  • Temi Ajayi (Research Technician), Medical student at UNM School of Medicine