Jarrod J. Mousa
BS Chemistry, University of North Florida
BA English, University of North Florida
PhD Chemistry/Biochemistry, University of Florida
Postdoctoral Fellow in Virology/Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
About Jarrod J. Mousa
Jarrod Mousa received his PhD from the University of Florida where he studied the structure and mechanism of multidrug transporters in pathogenic bacteria. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center where he studied the human antibody response to respiratory syncytial virus. His research interests lie at the interface between immunology and structural biology, particularly looking at antibody-antigen interactions to inform the design of next-generation vaccines.
We are under constant threat from viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, all of which express surface proteins critical for attachment, entry into host cells, virulence, and evasion of the host immune system. The Mousa Laboratory is interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which the human immune system combats these pathogens. We use a wide-range of translational approaches to study the molecular interactions mediating antibody neutralization of infectious pathogens. We study the human antibody response to select pathogens utilizing approaches to isolate human monoclonal antibodies as potential therapeutics, and determine their mechanism of action using biochemical, immunological, and structural approaches such as X-ray crystallography. These efforts are informing the design of next-generation vaccines and therapeutics.
Two pathogens we have particular interest in are respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV). Both viruses are closely related and can cause severe respiratory tract infection in the immunocompromised, such as premature infants and the elderly. Unfortunately, no vaccine is currently available for either virus, leading to thousands of unnecessary hospitalizations and deaths each year worldwide. Developing a vaccine for RSV and hMPV has been particularly challenging due to the unpredictability of the human immune system to previously tested vaccines. Therefore, we are studying the molecular basis for antibody-mediated immunity to RSV and hMPV to better understand the mechanism by which these viruses can be neutralized effectively, and our isolated antibodies may serve as the next line of therapeutics in the continuing battle against RSV and hMPV infection.
We are also participating in collaborative efforts across the UGA Center for Vaccines and Immunology and Department of Infectious Diseases.
2006-2009 National Football League Retired Players Association Scholarship
2006-2010 Pathways to Success Borowy Family Annual Scholarship, University of North Florida
2006-2010 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, State of Florida, University of North Florida
2009 Hercules Endowment Scholarship, University of North Florida
2010 American Institute of Chemists Award (one per graduating class), University of North Florida
2010 Outstanding Undergraduate Research in Chemistry Award (one per graduating class), University of North Florida
2010-2013 Grinter Award (recruiting funds for top entering graduate students), University of Florida
2014 UF Office of Research Travel Award, University of Florida
2014 CLAS Graduate Travel Award, University of Florida
2014-2015 William and Arlene Ruegamer Fellowship, University of Florida
2015-2017 NIH T32 Vanderbilt Infection Pathogenesis and Epidemiology Research Training Program (VIPER)
2016 American Crystallographic Association Travel Award, ACA Conference
2017 American Society for Virology Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Award