Santa Clara University


CAS News and Events


CAS News Center

Back to Blog

Development of Vaccines and Adjuvants Targeting HIV Infection

 Development of Vaccines and Adjuvants Targeting HIV Infection

Jacquelyn Gervay-Hague University of California, Davis, Department of Chemistry, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA  95616

Friday October 29, 2010
4:00 to 5:00 pm
Alumni Science 120

Research in the Gervay-Hague laborary is focused on developing methods for the efficient conjugation of site-specific functionalized peptides as vaccine candidates. In an effort to improve avidity and bioavailability, peptides directed against neutralizing antibodies have been successfully multimerized using a 1-3 dipolar cyclization strategy.  Our central contributions involve introduction of a trialkyne functionality onto rigid scaffolds that promote the cyclization process. The synthesis of alpha-galactosyl ceramide natural products complements the vaccine design program.  These natural products were originally isolated from marine sponge, and quantities for biological studies were scarce.  One-pot synthetic routes for large quantity production of alpha-galactosyl ceramides using glycosyl iodide chemistry have been developed. This synthetic chemistry platform exploits the unique reactivity of glycosyl iodides providing highly efficient routes to immunostimulatory glycolipids for adjuvant therapy.

Jacquelyn Gervay Hague received a B.S. degree from The University of California, Los Angeles, in 1985 where she also earned a Ph.D. in 1990 under the direction of Professor Michael E. Jung.  In 1990 she moved to Yale University as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Samuel J. Danishefsky.  In 1992, Professor Gervay-Hague joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Arizona and she was promoted to Associate Professor in 1998.  In 2000, Professor Gervay Hague worked as an on-sight consultant at Roche Bioscience in Palo Alto.  And she was appointed Professor of Chemistry at University of California, Davis in 2001.  In 2009, she assumed the position of Associate Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement in the office of the Chancellor and Provost at UC, Davis.   

Professor Gervay Hague’s research interests are in the area of carbohydrate chemistry directed toward the design and synthesis of chemotherapeutics targeting HIV infection and cancer.  Although the disease states differ, the methods of drug development employed by her research group consistently involve understanding the disease processes at a molecular level.  This approach has naturally led to studies at the interface of chemistry and biology.  In these investigations, the development of new synthetic methods has provided access to compounds that uniquely serve as biological probes to study structure/activity relationships.  Development of NMR techniques for solution-phase structure determination, and novel biological assays for testing interactions between small molecules and proteins has also been a focus of her research efforts.  More recently, solid phase synthesis of amide-linked carbohydrates has led to the production of novel materials with stable secondary structure in aqueous solution providing a foundation for future investigations in artificial protein engineering.

Professor Gervay Hague was named an Eli Lilly Grantee in 1997 and was appointed a Sloan Fellow in 1998.  In 1999, She was awarded the Horace S. Isbell Prize by the Carbohydrate division of the American Chemical Society, and she was also the recipient of the GenCorp Technology Achievement Award. The American Chemical Society recognized Professor Gervay-Hague’s excellence in science and contributions to the society by naming her among the inaugural Fellow’s of ACS in 2009.  Professor Gervay-Hague currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Organic Chemistry.  She is also on the Board of Editors of Organic Reactions.

Printer-friendly format