Richard Wyatt, PhD received his Ph.D. in 1991 from Tufts University School of Medicine at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences in Boston, MA. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Virology, is a member of the NIH Vaccine Discovery Research Group, the UCSD CFAR Grant Review Committee, is a member of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) Scientific Advisory Committee, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a frequent reviewer of AIDS FONDS Grant Applications (The Netherlands). He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles, predominantly focused on the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Env). Dr. Wyatt was formerly a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Structural Immunology Section at the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH in Bethesda, MD and is a charter member of IAVI's Neutralizing Antibody Consortium.
Dr. Wyatt's focuses on the structure, function and especially the immunogenicity of the HIV-1 Env, the only virally encoded proteins on the surface of the virus. Because most viral vaccines protect against disease by the elicitation of neutralizing antibodies, Dr. Wyatt's lab studies the HIV-1 Env as antigens, as candidate vaccine immunogens and at the atomic level of structural resolution to gain insight in how to better elicit antibodies directed against these variable and heavily glycosylated neutralizing determinants. His lab generates a diverse array of well-characterized, specialized Env variants ranging from large, trimeric mimetics of the HIV-1 functional spike down to the minimal Env core glycoproteins to be used for distinct approaches to elucidate the potential of rational vaccine design. Each of the Env candidates are analyzed in regards to their biochemical and biophysical properties and can be used as probes to isolate new and novel broadly neutralizing antibodies or to assesses their immunogenicity all as part of the plan to better elicit neutralizing antibodies using both informed but empirical or structure-guided vaccine design. Of late, Dr. Wyatt's laboratory is exploring interaction of model Env soluble and particulate immunogens with B cells to learn rules of immunogenicity to forward HIV -1 vaccine development.