Ralph Pantophlet, PhD
Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences
Associate Member, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar (2012-2020)
Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator (2009-2015)
- B.Sc., Polytechnic Faculty, Hogeschool Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- Ph.D., University of Leiden, The Netherlands/Research Center Borstel, Germany
Dr. Pantophlet is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences and an Associate Faculty member of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. Pantophlet joined the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2008 and heads the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases Immunology.
Dr. Pantophlet received his B.Sc. degree in medical microbiology from the Hogeschool Rotterdam & Omstreken (The Netherlands) (1995) and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Leiden (The Netherlands) (1999) for his work on the immunochemical properties of Acinetobacter lipopolysaccharides (performed at the Research Center Borstel, Germany). He moved to The Scripps Research Institute in California (2000) for postdoctoral research on anti-HIV antibodies and vaccine design under the mentorship of Dr. Dennis Burton. Dr. Pantophlet returned to the Research Center Borstel for a brief postdoctoral period (2002) and then rejoined the Burton laboratory as a senior postdoctoral fellow to focus on HIV vaccine design (2003).
Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-present)
I have mastered skills relevant to vaccine research as part of my past academic training, which has led to a great interest in host-pathogen interactions. My project in the Pantophlet Lab allows me to continue studying the induction of effective immune responses. The target is a conserved patch of oligomannose-type glycans on the HIV envelope spike; the host origin of these glycans poses a significant challenge to vaccine design. I am probing whether bacterially derived oligomannose mimetics can more readily trigger the desired anti-glycan neutralizing antibodies.
My main hobbies are drawing and photography. I combine these two passions during my free time when I hike and visit new places. I am also very interested in history, economics and geopolitics; understanding our world and our society is very important to me.
Research Assistant (2019-present)
My past research experience has made me realize that I have a passion for antiviral research. My primary responsibilities in the Pantophlet Lab are to perform research work related to HIV and influenza vaccine design, including flow cytometry, protein purification, and mammalian tissue culture. As a research-experienced lab member, I also assist less-experienced lab members with their research work and provide general support when needed.
I am an easy-going and cheerful individual with great love for nature and travelling. I enjoy hiking, kayaking and skiing when on vacation. In particular, I love spending time with my family and friends meandering along a nice easy trail where relaxed and delightful conversations can take place.
Graduate Student (2020-present)
VPR Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Recipient (2020)
Undergraduate Research Intern (2019-2020)
I joined the Pantophlet Lab because I want to learn more about vaccine immunology and am highly interested in various aspects of anti-viral antibody responses. I am keen to be supporting an emerging vaccine design project in the lab focused on HCMV and look forward to pursuing graduate studies.
In my free time, I enjoy singing and playing the ukulele. I also like going around Vancouver and trying new food places.
FHS Dean's Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Recipient (2020)
Undergraduate Research Intern (2019-present)
I am an undergraduate student in the Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and am interested in laboratory work related to vaccine research. The peculiarities of viruses like HIV and influenza have been attracting tremendous attention from researchers and there are many studies trying to make a breakthrough in the understanding and application of immune defenses against these viruses. I am keen to learn more about this field and contribute to it.
I love travelling and discovering cities that I am not familiar with. I really enjoy cooking and trying new recipes at home. I am also crazy about jigsaw puzzles (especially 1000/2000-piece puzzles) and can spend many hours playing!
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Honours student (2020)
Undergraduate Research Intern (2020)
I am keen to pursuing a career related to drug development and immunology; the Pantophlet Lab’s research on HIV-antibody interactions is of great personal interest to me and would be highly relevant to my intended career path. Eliciting neutralizing antibodies to HIV presents significant challenges, however these challenges also present exciting opportunities for significant biomedical advancements, potentially leading to greatly improved quality of life. I look forward to applying my passion for the subject, combined with my broad theoretical knowledge and diverse practical skills, within this laboratory.
In addition to biology, I am also highly interested in physics/engineering and spend much of my free time learning as much as I can about semiconductor design and fabrication. I love music and enjoy everything from Chopin’s Nocturne’s to melodic dubstep. I am also an avid reader and writer–I have been working on a science-fiction novel in my free time for the past six years and have over 200 pages written, with many more still to come!
Postdoctoral Fellow (2020-present)
My past research experience has encompassed many aspects of host-virus interactions in the context of hepatitis B and C infections. I am keen to continue studying molecular and cellular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions and infectious diseases. I am therefore thrilled to be a member of the Pantophlet Lab, which will allow me to consolidate my training in immuno-virology. The objective of my postdoctoral project is to contribute to the design of a more broadly protective flu vaccine. To this end, I aim to better understand antigenic triggers for eliciting protective antibodies. I also will utilize expertise from my PhD research to probe innate immune effectors that may be relevant to eliciting such antibodies.
I like to discover nature, where I can meditate and be inspired to write. Indeed, I hope to publish my personal diary one day. In addition to writing, I also enjoy drawing and creating fashion styles. I am very interested also in psychology and philosophy and like reading and interpreting others’ personalities.
FHS Dean's Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Recipient (2020)
I am pursuing my BSc Honours in Biological Sciences, keen to explore world health and disease and further develop my research techniques. I am particularly interested in immunology, human disease and public health, and aim to make connection in the health science research field. My long-term goal is to enter graduate studies in the health science field. I am excited to be part of the Pantophlet Lab and contribute to ongoing research on biased recognition of flu hemagglutinin by precursors of broadly neutralizing antibodies.
I am interested in the intersection STEM has with pop culture, art, film, social media, fashion, and food. I love to visit museums and art galleries, and seeing the influence science has on more creative expressions. I also enjoy painting and collaging in my free time; plants are a huge influence on my own painting style! You can find me watching movies, exploring nature, or trying new food in our lovely city.
Past Lab Members
|Edarlin Royce Bigornia, BSc||Undergraduate Researcher/Intern (2019-2020)|
|Alejandra Jahns||Undergraduate Research Intern (2019)|
|Sophie Fu, MSc||Research Assistant/Intern (2019-2020)|
|Tess Kirilenko, BSc||
Undergraduate Researcher (2019)
GlycoNet Summer Award Recipient (2019)
|Asa Lau||Undergraduate Research Intern (2019)|
|Natallia Varankovich, PhD||Senior Research Assistant (2019)|
|Nikki Atanasova, MSc||Research Assistant (2018)|
|Dahn Hahm, MSc||Research Assistant (2018)|
|Gurshaan Sidhu||Undergraduate Research Intern (external) (2018)|
|Vanesa Tomas Bosch, MSc||Senior Research Assistant (2018)|
|Heather Galley, BSc (Hons)||Research Assistant (2018)|
|Helen Do||Undergraduate Research Intern (2018)|
|Lea Sanchez Milde, BSc||Lab Assistant (part-time) (2018)|
|Michelle Chan YeeTeng||Undergraduate Research Intern (2018)|
|Quratulain Qureshi||Undergraduate Research Intern (2018)|
|Naiomi Lu, BSc||
Undergraduate Research Intern (2017)
VPR Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Recipient (2017)
Lab Assistant (2017-2018)
|Sreedevi Kesavan||Undergraduate Research Intern (2017)|
|Daniella Bavaro||Undergraduate Research Intern (2017)|
|Saru Sandhu||Undergraduate Research Intern (2017)|
|Shianne Bains||Undergraduate Research Intern (2017)|
|Alekhya Josyula, BSc||MSc student (2014-2017)|
|Vivian Qian Liu, PhD||Postdoctoral Fellow (2016)|
Grade 11 Pre-International Baccalaureate (IB) Research Intern (2015-2016)
National Sanofi Biogenius Award Student (2016)
|Nina Maglanoc||Undergraduate Research Intern (2015-2016)|
Undergraduate Research Intern (2014-2016)
Undergraduate Research Award (USRA) Student (2015)
|Jessica Parker||Undergraduate Research Intern (2015)|
|Alexandra Vela||Research Intern (2015)|
Undergraduate Research Intern (2013-2014)
Research Assistant & Acting Lab Manager (2014)
|Timothy Crowe||MSc Student (2013-2014)|
|Megan Curpen||Research Intern (2013-2014)|
|Natalia Savasteeva||Visiting Student (Concordia U) Research Intern (2014)|
|Simrita Sandhu||Research Intern (2014)|
|Barinder Sangha||Honors Student (2014)|
|Natalie Kinloch||Research Intern (2014)|
Research Assistant & Acting Lab Manager (2013-2014)
Research Intern (2010-2011; 2012-2013)
|Angela Trinh||Research Intern (2013)|
|Sophia Tsai||Research Intern (2013)|
|Kate Auyeung, BSc||
Senior Research Assistant (2009-2013)
Lab Manager (2011-2013)
|Allan Linde||Research Intern (2012)|
|Jessica Sidhu||Research Intern (2012)|
|Sunny Tang||Research Intern (2011-2012)|
|Savrina Manhas, BSc||MSc Student (2010-2012)|
|Fatima Ahmed, BSc||MSc Student (2010-2012)|
|Irina Vicol||Honors Student (2012)|
|Maxim Parfyonov||Research Intern (2012)|
|Lauretta Yu||Research Intern (2011)|
|Lisa Kieneker||Honors Student (2011)|
|Ben Chan||Undergraduate Research Assistant (2011)|
Honors Student (2010)
Lab Assistant (2010-2011)
|Brenda Clark, MSc||
Senior Research Assistant (2009-2011)
Lab Manager (2009-2011)
|Basim Nehal||Research Intern (2011)|
|Jose-Tam Huang||Research Intern (2010-2011)|
|James Kwon||Research Intern (2010-2011)|
|Sima Gerami||Research Intern (2010)|
|Abby Lin||Research Intern (2010)|