paul_goepfert Paul Goepfert, M.D.
Professor of Medicine and Microbiology
Director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic (AVRC)

Department of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases

Dr. Goepfert joined the UAB faculty in 1997, is board-certified in Medicine and Infectious Diseases and is licensed to practice medicine in Alabama. His research interests are focused on T cell immunology and vaccine design.  He has published numerous papers detailing HIV-specific CD8 and CD4 T cell immune responses in HIV-infected patients.  His laboratory was one of the first to demonstrate the relative functional deficiencies of HIV-specific CD8 T cells and the importance of targeting the Gag protein. Recently he demonstrated that peptides, derived from antisense transcripts, are able to induce responses to HIV.   His laboratory is also adept in a number of assays that measure antigen specific T cells including the 51chromium-release assay, IFN-g ELISPOT, multiplex cytokine analysis, and polyfunctional flow cytometry (PFC).  He has performed this work via NIH funding sources for the last 12 years. 

Dr. Goepfert clinical research interest is centered on the testing of preventative HIV vaccines.  His involvement in clinical HIV vaccine trials began in 1994 as an Infectious Disease Fellow.  In 1997, he became the Co-Director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic (AVRC) and assumed the role of Director in 2004.  The AVRC is largely funded through an NIH grant as part of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN).  This grant was successfully renewed as part of the Alabama Clinical Trials Unit (CTU).  The funding for the HIV vaccine component of the Alabama CTU began in January 2007.  He has gained enormous experience conducting clinical vaccine trials having conducted not only preventative HIV vaccine trials but also studies involving vaccines designed to prevent diseases such as anthrax, HPV, HBV, and small pox.  Funding for these studies was obtained via the NIH, the CDC, and several pharmaceutical companies.  He is an author on 25 papers detailing the safety and immunogenicity of HIV vaccine products.  He has served as chair for four separate clinical vaccine protocols and developed the protocol for each of these trials.  Part of his role as protocol chair includes safety monitoring in which safety data is accumulated and evaluated on a weekly basis. He continues to serve as protocol chair for an ongoing Phase 2 study assessing the safety and immunogenicity of a recombinant HIV DNA prime-MVA boost.  His leadership roles for the HVTN have included membership in the Phase I/II Committee and Laboratory Sciences Subcommittee. He is currently the co-chair of the Concept Working Group of the HVTN.  This committee is in charge of working with vaccine developers to develop new clinical vaccine trials.

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