The primary focus of the AuCoin laboratory is to develop diagnostics and therapeutics for infectious diseases. Current funding includes three research grants through the National Institutes of Health. Two additional grants were recently secured through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Naval Research Laboratory (DoD). All these projects rely on the identification of secreted or circulating microbial antigens that can be targeted for diagnosis of disease. The AuCoin laboratory has developed a novel platform technology termed “In vivo Microbial Antigen Discovery” or InMAD to identify such secreted antigens. InMAD is currently being utilized to identify candidate diagnostic antigens secreted during infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis), Aspergillus fumigatus (invasive aspergillosis) and Francisella tularensis (tularemia).
One of the research grants is a partnership with InBios International (Seattle, WA). Phase I STTR funding has resulted in the production of the Active Melioidosis Detect™ (AMD) Diagnostic test that is currently undergoing preclinical testing in endemic areas of Thailand and Australia. The CDC, DHS and DoD are currently evaluating this test for use as a rapid point of care diagnostic.
Dr. AuCoin received a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1993) followed by a M.S. (1999) and Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada (2002). Dr. AuCoin completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University (2005). He lectures on medical microbiology to UNSOM medical students and recently assisted in the creation of a new undergraduate major, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (MMI), through the College of Science at UNR.
Nuti D.E., R.B. Crump, F. Dwi Handayani, N. Chantratita, S.J. Peacock, R. Bowen, P.L. Felgner, D.H. Davies, T. Wu, C.R. Lyons, P.J. Brett, M.N. Burtnick, T.R. Kozel, D.P. AuCoin. Identification of circulating bacterial antigens by in vivo microbial antigen discovery. mBio. 2011 Aug 16;2(4). Editor’s Pick.
Nieves, W, S. Asakrah, O. Qazi, K.A. Brown, J. Kurtz, D.P. AuCoin, J.B. McLachlan, C.J. Roy, L.A. Morici. A naturally derived outer-membrane vesicle vaccine protects against lethal pulmonary Burkholderia pseudomallei infection. Vaccine. 2011 Aug 24.
AuCoin, D.P. In vivo Microbial Antigen Discovery: finding the “needle in the haystack”. Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2012 Apr;12(3):219-21.
AuCoin, D.P., D.E. Reed, N.L. Marlenee, R.A. Bowen, P. Thorkildson, B.M. Judy, A.G. Torres, T. R. Kozel. Polysaccharide Specific Monoclonal Antibodies Provide Passive Protection against Intranasal Challenge with Burkholderia pseudomallei. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35386.
Chaves, S. J., K. Schegg, T. R. Kozel, and D. P. AuCoin. In vivo Microbial Antigen Discovery (InMAD) to identify diagnostic proteins and polysaccharides that are circulating during microbial infections. Methods Mol. Biol. 2013. In Press.
Hovenden, M., M. Hubbard, D. P. AuCoin, P. Thorkildson, D. Reed, W. H. Welch, C. R. Lyons, J. Lovechik, T. R. Kozel. IgG subclass and heavy chain domains contribute to binding and protection by mAbs to the poly γ-D-glutamic acid capsular antigen of Bacillus anthracis. PLoS Pathog. 2013 Apr;9(4).
Hubbard MA, Thorkildson P, Kozel TR, and D. P. AuCoin. Constant domains influence binding of mouse-human chimeric antibodies to the capsular polypeptide of Bacillus anthracis. Virulence. 2013 Jul 17;4(6).
Marchetti R, Canales A, Lanzetta R, Nilsson I, Vogel C, Reed D.E., AuCoin D.P., Jiménez-Barbero J, Molinaro A, and A. Silipo. Unraveling the Interaction between the LPS O-Antigen of Burkholderia anthina and the 5D8 Monoclonal Antibody by Using a Multidisciplinary Chemical Approach, with Synthesis, NMR, and Molecular Modeling Methods. Chembiochem. 2013 Jul 22.