4 R&DMagazine October 2018 www.rdmag.com 4 R&DMagazine October 2018 www.rdmag.com
Named 2018 Scientist of the Year
Computational Biologist, HIV Researcher
;e Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist
used computational optimization to develop a
novel HIV vaccine currently being tested in humans
By Laura Panjwani, Editor, R&D Magazine
Bette Korber, PhD, has certainly had an impressive career. Since joining Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in 1991 she has managed and build up the lab’s HIV Database and Analysis Project, which
today features over 840,000 sequences of the HIV virus from around the world.
Utilizing that same database, she then built an innovative vaccine design
known as “mosaic,” created to overcome the extreme diversity of the HIV virus.
It combines sets of proteins—assembled from fragments of natural sequences
via a computational optimization method— to maximize vaccine coverage in
the most efficient way possible.
Today, her mosaic design is the key element of a first-in-class preventative
HIV vaccine now being tested for efficacy in humans in a Phase II clinical trial, a
milestone few HIV vaccines have reached.