Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Department Of Animal Science
111 Morrison Center
Lincoln, NE 68583-0900

Telephone: (402) 472-4528
E-mail: Hiepvu@unl.edu@unl.edu

Research Interest

My laboratory studies two important viruses of swine: porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and influenza A virus of swine (IAV-S).  The research topics that are studied in my laboratory include: (i) Host immune responses to natural infection or vaccination, (ii) Molecular characteristics of the viruses currently circulating in the swine population, and (iii) Viral proteins and/or epitopes capable of eliciting protective immunity.  Collectively, results obtained from these studies will be valuable for the optimal design safe and effective vaccines against divergent viral strains circulating in the field.

 PRRSV costs the US swine industry over $1 billion annually.  Reducing the economic impact of PRRSV is therefore the top priority to the US swine industry.  Although PRRS vaccines are commercially available, swine producers are not satisfied with the efficacy of the current PRRSV vaccines.  One major limitation of the current PRRSV vaccines is that they do not provide optimal levels of heterologous protection, due to the substantial genetic variation among PRRSV strains circulating in the field.  To overcome the genetic variation, we recently combined bioinformatics and reverse genetics to generate a synthetic PRRSV strain containing a consensus genome derived from a large set of wild type PRRSV sequences.  The synthetic PRRSV strain possesses the same characteristics as naturally occurring PRRSV strains in regard to cell tropism and pathogenicity.  Unlike naturally occurring PRRSV, the synthetic PRRSV strain induces type-I interferons instead of suppressing these cytokines.  Most importantly, the PRRSV strain can confer exceptional levels of cross-protection against heterologous PRRSV strains.  This synthetic PRRSV has been licensed to an animal health company for commercialization.

 IAV-S is widespread and causes significant losses to the swine producers.  Besides its economic impact, IAV-S also poses a great threat to public health due to its zoonotic potential.  Therefore, successful control of IAV-S will not only reduce the economic impact of this viral pathogen to the swine industry but also alleviate the threat to public health.  Currently, the commercial IAV-S vaccines are formulated based on multiple whole-inactivated virus (WIV) strains blended in oil-based adjuvants.  Unfortunately, the efficacy of these vaccines is far from satisfactory.  The biggest limitation of the current IAV-s vaccines is their sub-optimal levels of heterologous protection, mainly due to the substantial genetic diversity of IAV-S circulating in the field.  In addition, the use of WIV vaccines may enhance the severity of clinical outcomes if the vaccinated pigs are exposed to antigenically mismatched IAV-S strains of the same subtype, a phenomenon known as vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease (VAERD).  The long-term goal is to develop a novel vaccine that would elicit a broad spectrum of heterologous protection without causing VAERD.


Education And Training

2013 – 2014, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2009 – 2013, PhD in Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2007 – 2009, MS in Veterinary Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2000 - 2005, BS in Veterinary Medicine, University of Agriculture and Forestry, Vietnam

Positions

2017 – present, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science and Nebraska Center for Virology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2014 – 2017, Research Assistant Professor, Nebraska Center for Virology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Teaching Responsibility

Domestic Animal Immunology (ASCI 496/896) – 3 credits – 100% load

Veterinary virology (VET MED 687) – 3 credits – 27% load

Honors and Awards

2017, Junior Faculty for Excellence in Research      

2015, UNL Breakthrough Innovation of the Year

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuVVhuQsG2Y&feature=youtu.be

Inventions

Title: A non-naturally occurring porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and    methods of using

Inventors: Vu HL., Osorio FA., Laegreid W., Pattnaik AK., and Ma F.

Patent #: 10,072,046, issued September 11, 2018

This technology is exclusively licensed to an animal health company for commercialization.

 

Title: Synaptogyrin-2 influence replication of porcine circovirus 2

Inventors: Ciobanu D., Vu HL., Engle T., and Walker L.

Patent # US 62/610,812, applied September 17, 2018.

Publications

Walker LR, Engle TB, Vu HL, Tosky ER, Nonneman DJ, Smith TPL, Borza T, Burkey TE, Plastow GS, Kachman SD, and Ciobanu DC*. 2018. Synaptogyrin-2 influences replication of Porcine circovirus 2. PLoS Genet. Oct 31;14(10):e1007750. PMID: 30379811

Sun H, Workman A, Osorio FA., Steffen D, and Vu HL*. 2018. Development of a broadly protective modified-live virus vaccine candidate against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Vaccine 36(1):66-73. PMID: 29174314

Pattnaik A, Palermo N, Sahoo BR, Yuan Z, Hu D, Annamalai AS., Vu HL, Correas I, Prathipati PK, Destache CJ, Li Q, Osorio FA, Pattnaik AK, Xiang SH. 2018. Discovery of a non-nucleoside RNA polymerase inhibitor for blocking Zika virus replication through in silico screening. Antiviral research. PMID: 29274845

Annamalai, AS, Pattnaik A, Sahoo BR, Muthukrishnan E, Natarajan S, Steffen D, Vu HL, Delhon, G, Osorio FA, Petro, TM, Xiang SH, Pattnaik AK. 2017. Zika Virus Encoding Non-Glycosylated Envelope Protein is Attenuated and Defective in Neuroinvasion. Journal of virology vol. 91 no. 23 e01348-17. PMID: 28931684

Kimpston-Burkgren K, Correas I, Steffen D, Pattnaik AK, Fang Y Osorio FA and Vu HL*. 2017. Relative contribution of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus open reading frames 2–4 to the induction of protective immunity. Vaccine 35: 4408–4413. PMID: 28689650

Correas I, Pattnaik AK, Osorio, FA, and Vu HL*. 2017. Cross-reactivity of immune responses to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection. Vaccine 35: 782–788PMID: 28062126

Vu HL*, Pattnaik AK, and Osorio FA. 2017. Strategies to broaden the cross-protective efficacy of vaccines against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Veterinary Microbiology 206: 29–34. PMID: 27692670

Sun H, Pattnaik AK, Osorio FA and Vu HL*2016. Identification of viral genes associated with the interferon-inducing phenotype of a synthetic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus strain. Virology 499: 313–321. PMID: 27736706

Workman AM*, Smith TP, Osorio FA, Vu HL*. 2016. Complete genome sequence of highly virulent porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus variants that recently emerged in the United States. Genome Announcement 4(4):e00772-16. PMID: 27491998

Vu HL*, Ma F, Laegreid WW, Pattnaik AK, Steffen D, Doster AR, and Osorio FA*. 2015. A synthetic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus strain confers unprecedented levels of heterologous protection. J Virol. 89(23):12070-83. PMID: 26401031

Massilamany C, Gangaplara A, Basavalingappa RH, Rajasekaran RA, Vu HL, Riethoven JJ, Steffen D, Pattnaik AK, and Reddy J*. 2015. Mutations in the 5' NTR and the non-structural protein 3A of the coxsackievirus B3 selectively attenuate myocarditogenicity. PLoS One. 10(6):e0131052. PMID: 26098885

Vu HL, Kwon B, de Lima M, Pattnaik AK, and Osorio FA*. 2013. Characterization of a serologic marker candidate for development of a live-attenuated DIVA vaccine against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Vaccine 31: 330–4337. PMID: 23892102

Beura LK, Subramaniam S, Vu HL, Kwon B, Pattnaik AK, and Osorio FA*. 2012.  Identification of amino acid residues important for anti-IFN activity of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus non-structural protein 1. Virology 433: 431–439. PMID: 22995188

Vu HL, Kwon B, Yoon KJ, Laegreid WW, Pattnaik AK, and Osorio FA*. 2011. Immune evasion of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus through glycan shielding involves both glycoprotein 5 as well as glycoprotein 3. J Virol. 85(11):5555-64. PMID: 21411530.

Das PB, Vu HL, Dinh PX, Cooney JL, Kwon B, Osorio FA, and Pattnaik AK*. 2011. Glycosylation of minor envelope glycoproteins of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in infectious virus recovery, receptor interaction, and immune response. Virology 410: 385–394. PMID: 21195444

Research Funding

Ongoing

Sponsor:      USDA NIFA Grant No. 2018-67015-28294                             06/2018 – 05/2021

Title:             Development of a broadly protective DIVA marker vaccine against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus

Role:             Project Director

 

Sponsor:      USDA NIFA Grant No. 2017-67015-26634                             07/2017 - 06/2019

Title:             Investigation of host genetic role in porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) susceptibility

PD:               Daniel Ciobanu, Department of Animal Science / UNL

Role:             Co-Project Director

Note:            No cost extension to 06/2020

 

 

Sponsor:      Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station                           10/2016 – 09/2019

Title:            Development of broadly protective vaccines against PRRSV

Role:            Project Director

 

Sponsor:      USDA NIFA Grant No. 2016-67015-24922                             02/2016 – 02/2019

Title:             Correlates of cross-protective immunity to PRRSV

Role:             Project Director

Note:            No cost extension to 02/2020

 

Completed

Sponsor:      National Pork Board Grant No. 17-151                                   10/2017 –09/2018

Title:             Targeted development of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against PRRSV minor glycoprotein

Role:             Principal Investigator

 

Sponsor:       Phibro Animal Health

Title:             Evaluation of the Protective Efficacy of pMJPRRS Vaccine in Pigs

Role:             Project Director

 

Sponsor:      National Pork Board Grant No. 16-060                                   05/2016 –05/2018

Title:             Broadly protective nasal mucosal vaccine for influenza A virus of swine

Role:             Principal Investigator

Sponsor:      National Pork Board Grant No. 15-159                                  10/2015 – 03/2017

Title:             Development of a live-attenuated PRRSV vaccine capable of eliciting a broad spectrum of heterologous protection.

Role:             Principal Investigator

 

Sponsor:      Sub-award from Auburn University                                     05/2016 – 04/2017

Title:             Evaluation of Protective Efficacy of Peptide-Based Vaccines against PRRSV

Role:             Principal Investigator of sub-award

 

Sponsor:      National Pork Board Grant No. 14-214                                  10/2014 – 02/2016

Title:             Evaluation of immunodominant B- and T-cell epitopes as inducers of protective immunity against PRRSV

PI:                Diego Diel, South Dakota State University

Role:             Co- Principal Investigator

 

Sponsor:      National Pork Board Grant No. 14-200                                  10/2014 – 09/2015

Title:             Determine the mechanisms of cross-protection against infection with a divergent porcine reproductive and respiratory virus strain.

Role:             Principal Investigator

 

Sponsor:      National Pork Board Grant No. 13-155                                    10/013 – 09/2014

Title:             Rational design of a broadly protective vaccine against PRRSV

Role:             Principal Investigator