Fellow: Awarded 2008
Field of Study: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Competition: Latin America & Caribbean
Fernando Goldbaum is the founder and head of the Laboratory of Structural and Molecular Immunology and a CONICET Principal Researcher at the Fundación Instituto Leloir in Buenos Aires; he is also vice president of that institution. His lab is currently using an interdisciplinary approach to four fields: studying the metabolism of flavins and oxygen sensing as Brucella virulence factors; polymeric bacterial protein as a carrier for the development of new subunit vaccines; the structural basis of the affinity maturation process of anit-protein antibodies; and single domain llama antibodies as powerful tools in biomedical applications. The Guggenheim Fellowship and Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Fellowship (2002-11) he received as well as grants from the National Institutes of Health (2002-05) and Germany's DFG/BMZ have helped support his work. In addition in 2004 he received the AMSUD-Pasteur Prize BIOTECH for his development of a new technique for vaccine design.
He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires in 1992, where he earned first prize in Research on Biomedical Sciences for his doctoral work on monoclonal antibodies against Brucellai antigens. As a postdoctoral research associate and visiting professor for three years at the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB), a lab directed by Roberto Poljak and Roy Mariuzza, he conducted structural, functional, and thermodynamics studies on antigen-antibody reactions.
His many publications in peer-reviewed journals include the following: (with B. A. Fields, X. Ysern, R. J. Poljak, and R. A. Mariuzza), "Molecular basis of antigen mimicry by an anti-idiotope," Nature, 374 (1995), 739-742; (with A. Cauerhff et al.), "Lack of significant differences in association rates and affinities of antibodies from short term and long term responses to hen egg lysozyme," Journal of Immunology, 162, No. 10 (1999), 6040-6045; (with V. Zylberman et al.), "High order quarternary arrangement confers increased stability to Brucella spp. lumazine synthase," Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279, No. 9 (2004), 8093-8101; (with P. M. Berguer, J. Mundiñano, I. Piazzon), "A Polymeric Bacterial Protein Activates Dendritic Cells Via TLR4," Journal of Immunology, 176, No., 4 (2006), 2366-2372; and (with T. E. Swartz et al.), "Blue-light-activated Histidine kinases function as two-component sensors in bacteria," Science, 317, No. 5841 (2007), 1090-1093.