Alejandro B. Balazs, PhD

Lab Info:

Principal Investigator: Alejandro B. Balazs, PhD

Lab Staff: 2 post docs, 2 graduate students, 4 technicians

Office/Location: 400TS 992

Phone: (857) 268-7197


Category: Group Leaders, Members

Alejandro Balazs received his undergraduate degree at the University of California at Los Angeles and his PhD from Harvard University and is currently an Assistant Professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.


During his postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology, he developed Vectored ImmunoProphylaxis (VIP) as a means of engineering humoral immunity, leading to successful demonstration of this approach as a prophylaxis against HIV as well as influenza.


His laboratory continues to develop approaches rooted in synthetic immunology as a means of engineering or enhancing the natural immune system. These tools are presently being applied to a number of questions relating to interactions occurring between pathogens and the host immune response.



Laboratory Website:


Current areas of investigation

  • Understanding the mechanisms of sterilizing immunity by antibodies in vivo.
  • Exploring the means by which pathogens escape antibody responses
  • Determining the role of innate immunity mediated by antibodies in protection against viral infection.

Selected publications

de Jong YP, Dorner M, Mommersteeg MC, Xiao JW, Balazs AB, Robbins JB, Winer BY, Gerges S, Vega K, Labitt RN, Donovan BM, Giang E, Krishnan A, Chiriboga L, Charlton MR, Burton DR, Baltimore D, Law M, Rice CM, Ploss A.  Broadly neutralizing antibodies abrogate established hepatitis C virus infection. Sci Transl Med 2014 Sept 17; 6(254):254ra129. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009512 PMID: 25232181


Deal C, Balazs AB, Espinosa D, Zavala F, Baltimore D, Ketner G. Vectored antibody gene delivery protects against Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite challenge in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2014 Aug 26; 111(34):12528-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1407362111 Epub: 2014 Aug 11. PMID: 25114213


Balazs AB, Ouyang Y, Hong CM, Chen J, Nguyen SM, Rao DS, An DS, Baltimore D.  Vectored ImmunoProphylaxis Protects Humanized Mice from Mucosal HIV Transmission. Nature Medicine, 2014 Mar;20(3):296-300, Online Publication, Feb 9, 2014. doi: 10.1038/nm.3471 PMID: 22139420


Balazs AB, Bloom JD, Hong CM, Rao DS, Baltimore D. Broad protection against influenza infection by vectored immunoprophylaxis in mice. Nat. Biotech. 2013 Jul;31(7):647-52. Online Publication Jun 2, 2013. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2618 PMID: 23728362


Balazs AB, West AP Jr. Antibody gene transfer for HIV immunoprophylaxis. Nat. Immunol. 2013 Jan; 14(1):1-5. doi: 10.1038/ni.2480 PMID: 23238748


Balazs AB, Chen J, Hong CM, Rao DS, Yang L, Baltimore D.  Antibody-based protection against HIV infection by vectored immunoprophylaxis. Nature, 481(7379):81-84 Online publication Nov 30, 2011. doi: 10.1038/nature10660 PMCID: PMC3253190


Sigal A, Kim JT, Balazs AB, Dekel E, Mayo A, Milo R, Baltimore D. Cell-to-cell spread of HIV permits ongoing replication despite antiretroviral therapy. Nature, 2011 Aug  17;477(7362):95-8. doi: 10.1038/nature10347 PMID: 21849975


Luo XM, Lei MY, Feidi RA, West AP Jr, Balazs AB, Bjorkman PJ, Yang L, Baltimore D. Dimeric 2G12 as a potent protection against HIV-1. PLoS Pathog. 2010 Dec 16;6(12):e1001225. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001225 PMCID: PMC3002980

Laboratory Members