Over the past years, my research at the Gershoni lab has been focused mainly on two topics:
1. High throughput diagnostics of polyclonal sera- systematic screening of disease defining polyclonal sera was performed to study and explore the antibody response towards various viral infections such as HIV-1 and COVID-19. For this, we developed two novel serological methods. The first, "Deep-panning", combines random phage display peptide libraries with next generation sequencing to generate hundreds of millions of affinity selected peptide sequences. These are analyzed through a pipeline of computational algorithms that enable the identification of disease defining peptide features and their use to study the antibody response towards viruses.
The second method developed is "Deep-panning of Domain-Scan libraries". A Domain-Scan library represents a comprehensive systematic array of tiled overlapping peptides, ranging from 50-300 amino acids in length, covering the entire length of HIV-1 envelope protein. This enables comprehensive analyses of polyclonal sera of HIV-infected individuals and detailed fractionation of antibody specificities towards the viral envelope.
2. Vaccine design - developing Epitope Based Vaccines (for HIV-1 and COVID-19) through the identification of neutralizing epitopes, molecular characterization of the antibody:epitope interface, reconstitution of the essential conformational discontinuous elements of the epitopes and their use as immunogens to elicit focused and targeted B-cell responses