Phillip Berman, PhD

  • Member, CFAR Scientific Council

Biography

For the last 25 years, Dr. Berman has been a leader in the development of a safe and effective AIDS vaccine. The work began in the mid-1980's when Dr. Berman developed a method to produce a recombinant form of the HIV envelope glycoprotein, gp120, that was properly folded, fully glycosylated and able to bind to the cell surface receptor, CD4. He then showed for the first time that the recombinant envelope protein, gp120, could induce antibodies able to neutralize HIV in vitro (Lasky et al. 1986; Science 233:209). In 1990, after 13 failed attempts by other investigators, Dr. Berman showed for the first time that immunization with recombinant gp120 could protect chimpanzees from HIV infection (Berman et al. 1990; Nature 345:622). With collaborators at Genentech, he developed a practical, large scale manufacturing process (10,000 L) that could be used to supply the world with vaccine at an affordable price.