Dr. Alejandro B. Balazs is a Group Leader at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, where he serves as the Scientific Director of the Human Immune System Mouse Program. He is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Immunology at MGH.
Dr. Balazs uses engineered immunity as a tool to dissect host-pathogen interactions and address the most pressing questions in the field of vaccine development. As a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of David Baltimore, Dr. Balazs developed a novel AAV platform for the systemic delivery of broadly neutralizing antibodies in vivo. This technology, known as Vectored ImmunoProphylaxis (VIP), has shown the ability to engineer durable immunity to numerous pathogens in mice, including HIV, influenza, herpes simplex virus, hepatitis C, and malaria. Dr. Balazs currently uses VIP to study HIV evolution in response to a variety of engineered antibody responses, with the goal of designing maximally effective antibody combinations for prophylactic or therapeutic use. His work with this groundbreaking technology has led to a clinical trial testing VIP as a potential HIV vaccine modality. Dr. Balazs also brings an engineering perspective to improving humanized mouse models, with the aim of providing better tools for investigators at the Ragon Institute and beyond.
He is the recipient of numerous honors, including a research fellowship from the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), the MGH Transformative Scholars Award, and the New Innovator Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Dr. Balazs completed postdoctoral training in virology and immunology at the California Institute of Technology. He received a PhD in genetics from Harvard University and a BS in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles.