Phillip W. Berman

Research Focus

Phillip Berman is a pioneer in the development of recombinant vaccines for AIDS and other infectious diseases. His research interests include the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, as well as the development of new technology for commercial production of complex recombinent glycoproteins.

Research History

Berman spent 15 years at Genentech, where he led research on recombinant proteins, vaccine development, and monoclonal antibodies. In 1995, he cofounded VaxGen, where he served as senior vice president for research and development. He oversaw VaxGen's efforts to develop an HIV vaccine and also began an anthrax vaccine program. In 2004, Berman cofounded Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to combining knowledge and expertise from the biotechnology industry and the public health sector to address infectious disease problems in the developing world.

Selected Papers

O'Rourke, S., Sutthent, R., Phung, P., Mesa, K.A., Frigon, N.L., To, B., Horthongkham, N., Limoli, K., Wrin, T., and Berman, P.W. Glycans Flanking the Hypervariable Connecting Peptide between the A and B Strands of the V1/V2 Domain of HIV-1 gp120 Confer Resistance to Antibodies That Neutralize CRF01-AE Viruses. (2015) PLoS ONE 10:e0119608.

Morales, J.F., Morin, T.J., Yu, B., Tatsuno, G.P., O’Rourke, S.M., Theolis, R., Mesa, K.A., and Berman, P.W. HIV-1 Envelope Proteins and V1/V2 Domain Scaffolds with Mannose-5 to Improve the Magnitude and Quality of Protective Antibody Responses to HIV-1. (2014) J Biol Chem 289(30):20526-20542.

Doran, R.C., Morales, J.F., Theolis, R., O’Rourke, S.M., Yu, B., Mesa, K.A., and Berman, P.W. Characterization of a Mouse Monoclonal Antibody to a Novel Glycan-Dependent Epitope in the V1/V2 Domain of the HIV-1 Envelope Protein, gp120. (2014) Mol Immunol 62(1):219-226.

O'Rourke, S., Schweighardt, B., Phung, P., Mesa, K.A., Vollrath, A.L., Tatsuno, G.P., To, B., Sinangil, F., Limoli, K., Wrin, T., and Berman, P.W. (2012) Sequences in gp41, the CD4 Binding Site, and the V2 Domain Regulate Sensitivity and Resistance to Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies. J Virol 86:12105-12114.

Yu, B., Morales, J.F., O'Rourke, S.M., Tatsuno, G.P., and Berman, P.W. (2012) Glycoform and Net Charge Heterogeneity in gp120 Immunogens Used in HIV Vaccine Trials. PLoS One 7:e43903.

Nakamura, G.R., Fonseca, D.P., O'Rourke, S.M., Vollrath, A.L., and Berman, P.W. (2012) Monoclonal Antibodies to the V2 Domain of MN-rgp120: Fine Mapping of Epitopes and Inhibition of alpha4beta7 Binding. PLoS One 7:e39045.

O'Rourke SM, Schweighardt B, Fonseca D, Wrin T, Sinangil F, Berman PW. Mutation at a single position in the V2 domain of the HIV envelope protein confers neutralization sensitivity to a highly neutralization resistant virus. J Virol. 2010 Nov;84(21):11200-9. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Smith DH, Winters-Digiacinto P, Mitiku M, Sinangil F, Wrin T, Montefiori DC, Berman PW. Comparative immunogenicity of HIV-1 clade C envelope proteins for prime/boost studies. PLoS One. 2010 Aug 11;5(8):e12076.

Pérez-Losada M, Jobes DV, Sinangil F, Crandall KA, Posada D, Arenas M, Berman PW. Phylodynamics of HIV-1 from a phase III AIDS vaccine trial in Bangkok, Thailand. PLoS One. 2011 Mar 10;6(3):e16902.

Gilbert P, Wang M, Wrin T, Petropoulos C, Gurwith M, Sinangil F, D'Souza P, Rodriguez-Chavez IR, Decamp A, Giganti M, Berman PW, Self SG, Montefiori DC. Magnitude and Breadth of a Nonprotective Neutralizing Antibody Response in an Efficacy Trial of a Candidate HIV-1 gp120 Vaccine. J Infect Dis. 2010 Aug 15;202(4):595-605.

Yu B, Fonseca DP, O'Rourke SM, Berman PW. Protease cleavage sites in HIV-1 recognized by antigen processing enzymes are conserved and located at receptor binding sites. J Virol. 2010 Feb;84(3):1513-26.

Pérez-Losada M, Jobes DV, Sinangil F, Crandall KA, Posada D, Berman PW. Phylodynamics of HIV-1 from a Phase III AIDS vaccine trial in North America. Mol Biol Evol. 2010 Feb;27(2):417-25.

Pérez-Losada M, Posada D, Arenas M, Jobes DV, Sinangil F, Berman PW, Crandall KA. Ethnic differences in the adaptation rate of HIV gp120 from a vaccine trial. Retrovirology. 2009 Jul 15;6:67.

O'Rourke SM, Schweighardt B, Scott WG, Wrin T, Fonseca DP, Sinangil F, Berman PW. Novel ring structure in the gp41 trimer of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 that modulates sensitivity and resistance to broadly neutralizing antibodies. J Virol. 2009 Aug;83(15):7728-38.

Pitisuttithum P, Gilbert P, Gurwith M, Heyward W, Martin M, van Griensven F, Hu D, Tappero JW, Choopanya K; Bangkok Vaccine Evaluation Group. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy trial of a bivalent recombinant glycoprotein 120 HIV-1 vaccine among injection drug users in Bangkok, Thailand. J Infect Dis. 2006 Dec 15;194(12):1661-71.

Gilbert PB, Peterson ML, Follmann D, Hudgens MG, Francis DP, Gurwith M, Heyward WL, Jobes DV, Popovic V, Self SG, Sinangil F, Burke D, Berman PW. Correlation between immunologic responses to a recombinant glycoprotein 120 vaccine and incidence of HIV-1 infection in a phase 3 HIV-1 preventive vaccine trial. J Infect Dis. 2005 Mar 1;191(5):666-77.

Pitisuttithum P, Berman PW, Phonrat B, Suntharasamai P, Raktham S, Srisuwanvilai LO, Hirunras K, Kitayaporn D, Kaewkangwal J, Migasena S, Sheppard HW, Li E, Chernow M, Peterson ML, Shibata R, Heyward WL, Francis DP. Phase I/II study of a candidate vaccine designed against the B and E subtypes of HIV-1. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Sep 1;37(1):1160-5.

Berman PW, Huang W, Riddle L, Gray AM, Wrin T, Vennari J, Johnson A, Klaussen M, Prashad H, Köhne C, deWit C, Gregory TJ. Development of bivalent (B/E) vaccines able to neutralize CCR5-dependent viruses from the United States and Thailand. Virology. 1999 Dec 5;265(1):1-9.

Berman PW. Development of bivalent rgp120 vaccines to prevent HIV type 1 infection.  AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses, 1998;14(Suppl 3):S277-89.


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