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Gary Matyas, Ph.D.

Chief, Adjuvants and Formulations

Dr. Gary Matyas received his Ph.D. in biology from Purdue University and completed his postdoctoral studies in the laboratories of Peter Fishman and Roscoe Brady in the National Institute Neurological, Communicative Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health. His postdoctoral research and his Ph.D. studies were centered on the biochemistry and function of glycolipids.


In 1988, Dr. Matyas joined the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research as a research chemist in the Department of Membrane Biochemistry, Division of Biochemistry, which later merged with MHRP. The main focus was on vaccines for various infectious diseases, biological threat agents, and cancer using liposomes and transcutaneous immunization. He also has extensively studied antibodies to lipids and conducted pivotal research establishing that antibodies to squalene were naturally occurring and were not correlated with the illness of veterans of the first Gulf War or a result of vaccination with the anthrax vaccine.

Dr. Matyas’ research efforts on HIV have focused on developing immunization formulations that would induce antibodies similar to the broadly neutralizing antibodies 2F5 and 4E10, which bind to the both gp41 and membrane lipids. Together with MHRP collaborators, he demonstrated the monoclonal antibodies to lipids neutralized HIV and that vaccination with liposomes induced monoclonal antibodies that neutralized HIV and bound to gp41 and lipids. In July 2012, Dr. Matyas was awarded the $5 million Avant-Garde Award for Medications Development from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop a combination heroin/HIV vaccine. Dr. Matyas is working to develop an effective, safe and easily manufactured combination vaccine that could treat heroin addiction while at the same time prevent HIV infection in those receiving the vaccine.

Selected Publications

Matyas GR, Mayorov AV, Rice KC, Jacobson AE, Cheng K, Iyer MR, Li F, Beck Z, Janda KD, Alving CR. Liposomes containing monophosphoryl lipid A: A potent adjuvant system for inducing antibodies to heroin hapten analogs. Vaccine. 2013 Jun 10;31(26):2804-10. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Matyas GR, Alving CR. Antigen-specific enhancement of natural human IgG antibodies to phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate, cholesterol, and lipid A by a liposomal vaccine Containing lipid A.Vaccine. 2011 Jul 18; 29(32): 5137-44. Epub  2011 May 30.

Matyas GR, Wieczorek L, Bansal D, Chenine AL, Sanders-Buell E, Tovanabutra S, Kim JH, Polonis V, Alving CR. Inhibition of HIV-1 infection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells by a monoclonal antibody that binds to phosphoinositides and induces secretion of β-chemokines. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Nov 26;402(4):808-12.

Matyas GR, Beck Z, Karasavvas N, Alving CR. Lipid binding properties of 4E10, 2F5, and WR304 monoclonal antibodies that neutralize HIV-1. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Mar;1788(3):660-5. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Matyas GR, Wieczorek L, Beck Z, Ochsenbauer-Jambor C, Kappes JC, Michael NL, Polonis VR, Alving CR. Neutralizing antibodies induced by liposomal HIV-1glycoprotein 41 peptide simultaneously bind to both the 2F5 or 4E10 epitope and lipid epitopes. AIDS. 2009 Oct 23;23(16):2069-77.