Research Associate Professor in Microbiology


Dr. Moldoveanu received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry from the University of Bucharest, Romania.  She came to UAB as a postdoctoral fellow in mucosal immunology in Dr. Jiri Mestecky’s laboratory and joined the Department of Microbiology faculty in 1988.  In 1998 she did sabbatical work with Dr. Mogens Kilian, Director of the Institute of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Dr. Moldoveanu’s work in mucosal immunology focuses on vaccine development, IgA synthesis and transport, IgA receptor expression, and the role of innate factors in immune complex disease.  She has pioneered studies of alternative routes of mucosal and systemic vaccine administration in animal models (mice, monkeys) and in humans. She and her colleagues are currently involved in the evaluation of immune responses to vaccine antigens administered with systemic or mucosal adjuvants, as well as vaccine antigens administered in biodegradable microspheres, liposomes, block polymers, encapsidated poliovirus replicons or encoded in recombinant vaccinia- and baculo- viruses. She was also evaluating the humoral and cellular responses induced by HIV-1 candidate vaccines in human volunteers enrolled in Phase I trials.  Currently, besides studies on the defective glycosylation of IgA pertinent to IgA nephropathy, Dr. Moldoveanu is investigating immunization parameters, including type of antigen, adjuvants and route of administration, for effective induction of mucosal and systemic humoral responses and tolerance in human volunteers.  She is also evaluating the role of oral epithelial cells in HIV-1  transmission.

Selected Publications

  1. Moldoveanu, Z., Russell, M.W., Wu, H.Y., Huang, W.Q., Compans, R.W. and Mestecky, J.  Compartmentalization within the mucosal immune system.  Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 371:97-101, 1995.
  2. Moldoveanu, Z., Clements, M.L., Prince, S.J., Murphy, B.R. and Mestecky, J.  Human immune responses to influenza virus vaccine administered by mucosal or systemic routes. Vaccine 11:1006-1012, 1995.
  3. Moldoveanu, Z., Porter, D.C., Lu, A.L., McPhearson, S. and Morrow, C.D.  Immune Responses Induced by Administration of Encapsidated Poliovirus Replicons which Express HIV-1 gag and Envelope Proteins. Vaccine  13:1013-1022, 1995.
  4. Moldoveanu, Z., Love-Homan, L., Huang, W.Q. and Krieg, A.  CpG DNA, a novel adjuvant for systemic and mucosal immunization with influenza virus. Vaccine  16:1216-1224, 1998.
  5. Moldoveanu, Z., Vzorov, A.N., Huang, WQ., Mestecky, J. and Compans, R.W.  Induction of immune responses to SIV antigens by mucosally administered vaccines. AIDS Res. Human Retrovir.15:1469-1476, 1999.
  6. Lambert, J.S., Keefer, M., Mulligan, M.J., Schwartz, D., Mestecky, J., Weinhold, K., Smith, C., Hsieh, R., Moldoveanu, Z., Fast, P., Forrest B. and Koff, W.  A Phase I Safety and Immunogenicity Trial of UBI® Microparticulate Monovalent HIV-1 MN Oral Peptide Immunogen with Parenteral Boost in HIV-1 Seronegative Human Subjects. Vaccine 19: 3033-3042, 2001.
  7. Mestecky, J., Jackson, S., Moldoveanu, Z., Nesbit, L.R., Kulhavy, R., Prince, S., Sabbaj, S., Mulligan, M.J., Weiss, H. and Goepfert, P.A.  Paucity of Antigen-Specific IgA Responses in Sera and External Secretions of HIV-1-Infected Individuals. AIDS Res. Human Retrovir. 20:972-88, 2004.
  8. Wright, P.F., Mestecky, J., McElrath, M.J., Keefer, M.C., Gorse, G.J., Goepfert, P.A., Moldoveanu, Z., Schwartz, D., Spearman, P.W., El Habib, R., Spring, M.D., Zhu, Y., Smith, C., Flores, J. and Weinhold, K.J. National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Group. Comparison of systemic and mucosal delivery of 2 canarypox virus vaccines expressing either HIV-1 genes or the gene for rabies virus G protein. J. Infect. Dis. 189:1221-31, 2004.
  9. Moldoveanu, Z., Oliver, F., Mestecky, J. and Elson, C.O.  Oral Tolerance in Humans: Failure to Suppress an Existing Immune Response by Oral Antigen Administration. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1029:299-309, 2005.
  10. Moldoveanu, Z. and Fujihashi, K. Collection and Processing of External Secretions and Tissues of Mouse Origin In: Mucosal Immunology, 3rd Ed. Mestecky, J., Bienenstock, J., Lamm, M.E., Mayer, L., McGhee, J.R. and Stober, W., Eds. pp. 1841-1851, Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam, 2005.