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Raquel Hernandez

Education

Ph.D. in Microbiology, University of Texas, Austin, 1985

Current position

Research Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, N C State University (2004-present)
Chief Scientific Officer, Arbovax Inc. (2011-present)
Research focus: We have developed a technique for the production of live virus vaccines for arthropod vectored viruses. This technology is based on the discovery that evolution has provided these viruses with genetic information essential for replication in one of the two hosts (mammals and insects) but not the other. We have identified genetic elements required for efficient replication in the mammalian host and removed them. These deletion mutations restrict the growth of the virus to the insect host resulting in a host range mutation that is a deletion with little prospect of reversion to wild type. Injection of the insect produced virus into mammals results in the production of high titers of neutralizing antibody and protection against challenge with wild type virus in the absence of disease. In principle this technology will produce a live virus vaccine against any of these arthropod vectored diseases for which a cDNA clone can be produced.

Publications (since 2005)

  1. Piper, A., Ribeiro, M., Smith, K. M., Briggs, C. M., Huitt, E., Nanda, K., Spears, C. J., Quiles, M., Cullen, J., Thomas, M. E., Brown, D. T. and Hernandez, R. (2013). Chikungunya virus host range E2 transmembrane deletion mutants induce protective immunity against challenge in C57BL/6J mice. J Virol 87(12): 6748-6757.
  2. Vancini, R., Kramer, L. D., Ribeiro, M., Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. (2013). Flavivirus infection from mosquitoes in vitro reveals cell entry at the plasma membrane. Virology 435(2): 406-414.
  3. Vancini, R., Wang, G., Ferreira, D., Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. T. (2013). Alphavirus genome delivery occurs directly at the plasma membrane in a time- and temperature-dependent process. J Virol 87(8): 4352-4359.
  4. Brown, D. T. and Hernandez, R. (2012). Infection of cells by alphaviruses. Adv Exp Med Biol 726: 181-199.
  5. Vancini, R., Paredes, A., Ribeiro, M., Blackburn, K., Ferreira, D., Kononchik, J. P., Jr., Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. (2012). Espirito Santo virus: a new birnavirus that replicates in insect cells. J Virol 86(5): 2390-2399.
  6. Smith, K. M., Nanda, K., Spears, C. J., Piper, A., Ribeiro, M., Quiles, M., Briggs, C. M., Thomas, G. S., Thomas, M. E., Brown, D. T., Hernandez, R. and McCarl, V. (2012). Testing of novel dengue virus 2 vaccines in African green monkeys: safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy. Am J Trop Med Hyg 87(4): 743-753.
  7. He, L., Piper, A., Meilleur, F., Hernandez, R., Heller, W. T. and Brown, D. T. (2012). Conformational changes in Sindbis virus induced by decreased pH are revealed by small-angle neutron scattering. J Virol 86(4): 1982-1987.
  8. Hunt, S. R., Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. T. (2011). Role of the vacuolar-ATPase in Sindbis virus infection. J Virol 85(3): 1257-1266.
  9. Smith, K. M., Nanda, K., Spears, C. J., Ribeiro, M., Vancini, R., Piper, A., Thomas, G. S., Thomas, M. E., Brown, D. T. and Hernandez, R. (2011). Structural mutants of dengue virus 2 transmembrane domains exhibit host-range phenotype. Virol J 8: 289.
  10. Kononchik, J. P., Jr., Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. T. (2011). An alternative pathway for alphavirus entry. Virol J 8: 304.
  11. Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. T. (2010). Growth and maintenance of baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells. Curr Protoc Microbiol Chapter 4: Appendix 4H.
  12. Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. T. (2010). Growth and maintenance of chick embryo fibroblasts (CEF). Curr Protoc Microbiol Appendix 4: 4I.
  13. Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. T. (2010). Growth and maintenance of mosquito cell lines. Curr Protoc Microbiol Appendix 4: 4J.
  14. Hernandez, R., Sinodis, C. and Brown, D. T. (2010). Sindbis virus: propagation, quantification, and storage. Curr Protoc Microbiol Chapter 15: Unit15B 11.
  15. He, L., Piper, A., Meilleur, F., Myles, D. A., Hernandez, R., Brown, D. T. and Heller, W. T. (2010). The structure of Sindbis virus produced from vertebrate and invertebrate hosts as determined by small-angle neutron scattering. J Virol 84(10): 5270-5276.
  16. Brown, D.T. and Raquel Hernandez. (2010). Host Range Virus Mutants as Vaccines for Arthropod Vectored Viruses. Nova Acta Leopoldina NF 98, Nr. 361, 201-213.
  17. Kononchik, J. P., Jr., Nelson, S., Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. T. (2009). Helical virus particles formed from morphological subunits of a membrane containing icosahedral virus. Virology 385(2): 285-293.
  18. Nanda, K., Vancini, R., Ribeiro, M., Brown, D. T. and Hernandez, R. (2009). A high capacity Alphavirus heterologous gene delivery system. Virology 390(2): 368-373.
  19. Hafer, A., Whittlesey, R., Brown, D. T. and Hernandez, R. (2009). Differential incorporation of cholesterol by Sindbis virus grown in mammalian or insect cells. J Virol 83(18): 9113-9121.
  20. Hernandez, R. and Paredes, A. (2009). Sindbis virus as a model for studies of conformational changes in a metastable virus and the role of conformational changes in in vitro antibody neutralisation. Rev Med Virol 19(5): 257-272.
  21. Kononchik, J. P., Jr., Nelson, S., Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. T. (2009). Helical virus particles formed from morphological subunits of a membrane containing icosahedral virus. Virology 385(2): 285-293.
  22. Hernandez, R., Paredes, A. and Brown, D. T. (2008). Sindbis virus conformational changes induced by a neutralizing anti-E1 monoclonal antibody. J Virol 82(12): 5750-5760.
  23. Whitehurst, C. B., Soderblom, E. J., West, M. L., Hernandez, R., Goshe, M. B. and Brown, D. T. (2007). Location and role of free cysteinyl residues in the Sindbis virus E1 and E2 glycoproteins. J Virol 81(12): 6231-6240.
  24. Wang, G., Hernandez, R., Weninger, K. and Brown, D. T. (2007). Infection of cells by Sindbis virus at low temperature. Virology 362(2): 461-467.
  25. Mudiganti, U., Hernandez, R., Ferreira, D. and Brown, D. T.* (2006). Sindbis virus infection of two model insect cell systems--a comparative study. Virus Res 122(1-2): 28-34.
  26. Whitehurst, C. B., Willis, J. H., Sinodis, C. N., Hernandez, R. and Brown, D. T. (2006). Single and multiple deletions in the transmembrane domain of the Sindbis virus E2 glycoprotein identify a region critical for normal virus growth. Virology 347(1): 199-207.
  27. Hernandez, R.*, Sinodis, C. and Brown, D. T. (2006). Sindbis Virus: Propagation, Quantitation, and Storage. Current Protocols in Microbiology
  28. West, J., Hernandez, R., Ferreira, D. and Brown, D. T. (2006). Mutations in the endodomain of Sindbis virus glycoprotein E2 define sequences critical for virus assembly. J Virol 80(9): 4458-4468.
  29. Heldt, C. L., Hernandez, R., Mudiganti, U., Gurgel, P. V., Brown, D. T. and Carbonell, R. G. (2006). A colorimetric assay for viral agents that produce cytopathic effects. J Virol Methods 135(1): 56-65.
  30. Nelson, S., Hernandez, R., Ferreira, D. and Brown, D. T. (2005). In vivo processing and isolation of furin protease-sensitive alphavirus glycoproteins: a new technique for producing mutations in virus assembly. Virology 332(2): 629-639.
  31. Hernandez, R., Ferreira, D., Sinodis, C., Litton, K. and Brown, D. T. (2005). Single amino acid insertions at the junction of the sindbis virus E2 transmembrane domain and endodomain disrupt virus envelopment and alter infectivity. J Virol 79(12): 7682-7697.
Protocols by Raquel Hernandez
  1. Chikungunya ELISA Protocol