Dean Lab

The Dean lab of the Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases has a major focus on the development of a probiotic vaccine platform utilizing the probiotic organism Lactobacillus acidophilus. Specific applications include vaccines against human rotavirus, feline coronavirus (FECV) and SARS-CoV-2. We study the host mucosal immune response and immune mechanisms of multiple adjuvant strategies. The relationship between the host microbiome and mucosal immunity and the impact of oral vaccination on the intestinal microbiome are also active areas of research. Study of the immunpathogenesis of viral infections is an overarching emphasis.

research project

Vaccine Development Against SARS-CoV-2

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research project

Investigating the Relationship Between Recombinant Lactobacillus acidophilus and the Local Bacterial Microbiome

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research project

Vaccine Development for the Prevention of Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (FIP)

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research project

Improvements in Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (FIP) Diagnostics

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Expression of E. coli FimH Enhances Trafficking of an Orally Delivered Lactobacillus acidophilus Vaccine to Immune Inductive Sites via Antigen-Presenting Cells.
Vilander AC, Shelton K, LaVoy A, Dean GA. Vaccines (Basel). 2023 Jun 27;11(7):1162. doi: 10.3390/vaccines11071162. PMID: 37514978

Oral Vaccination Using a Probiotic Vaccine Platform Combined with Prebiotics Impacts Immune Response and the Microbiome.
Fox BE, Vilander AC, Gilfillan D, Dean GA, Abdo Z.Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Sep 4;10(9):1465. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10091465. PMID: 36146543

NOD2 signaling in CD11c + cells is critical for humoral immune responses during oral vaccination and maintaining the gut microbiome.
Fox BE, Vilander A, Abdo Z, Dean GA. Sci Rep. 2022 May 19;12(1):8491. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-12469-x. PMID: 35589853

High-throughput viral microneutralization method for feline coronavirus using image cytometry.
Pearson M, LaVoy A, Chan LL, Dean GA. J Virol Methods. 2020 Dec;286:113979. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2020.113979. Epub 2020 Sep 23. PMID: 32979406

Impact of oral probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus vaccine strains on the immune response and gut microbiome of mice.
Abdo Z, LeCureux J, LaVoy A, Eklund B, Ryan EP, Dean GA. PLoS One. 2019 Dec 12;14(12):e0225842. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225842. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31830087

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Gregg Dean, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.A.C.V.P.

Lab Principal Investigator (PI)

Allison Vilander, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.A.C.V.P.

Assistant Professor
Anatomic Pathologist

Ben Swartzwelter, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Alora LaVoy

Research Associate IV
Lab Manager

Callie Lang

Research Associate II

Ben Curtis, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.P.

Anatomic Pathology Resident
PhD Candidate

Darby Gilfillan

PhD Candidate

Kayl Ecton

Graduate Research Assistant

Christian Cherry

Graduate Research Assistant

McKenzie Fletcher

Graduate Research Assistant

Paris Kiehl

Student Researcher

Sophie Kiehl

Student Researcher

Brianna Ramirez Rubio

Student Researcher

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contact information

Lab: Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases room 130

Office: Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases room 166

(970) 492-4368