My research focuses on the study of pathogenesis and vaccine development for important pediatric pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniaeSalmonella Typhi, Salmonella paratyphi and Staphylococcus aureus.

Two arms of the adaptive immune system, antibody and T cell, are important for protection against bacterial colonization and infection. We have discovered that CD4+-Th17 cells are important for pneumococcal colonization and performed multiple screens to identify antigens that can induce either or both arms of immunity. These antigens have been applied to a novel Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS) to develop the next generation of pneumococcal vaccine. Further characterization of these antigens is an active area of research in the laboratory.

Infection by Salmonella Typhi or paratyphi is still a major concern for developing countries. A new bivalent vaccine using MAPS technology targeting these two pathogens is developed in the lab and tested in various animal models. Further development of this vaccine to clinics is on the way.

The Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is a common human pathogen that causes a wide range of infections, which can involve the skin (such as in boils or cellulitis), as well as many other organs (including the lungs, the heart, bone and joints, among others) or cause shock syndromes. Mechanism for protection against S. aureus, including antibody to surface proteins and Th1, Th17 and Th22 immunity, is being studied in the lab aiming to find a better vaccine against this pathogen.


Yingjie Lu obtained his PhD in Biophysics from Tsinghua University. After completion of a postdoctoral training in St. Jude Children’s Hospital, he joined Boston Children's Hospital where he continues to develop vaccines against pediatric infections.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Screening for Th17-Dependent Pneumococcal Vaccine Antigens: Comparison of Murine and Human Cellular Immune Responses. Infect Immun. 2018 11; 86(11). View abstract
  2. Antigenic Variation in Streptococcus pneumoniae PspC Promotes Immune Escape in the Presence of Variant-Specific Immunity. mBio. 2018 03 13; 9(2). View abstract
  3. Antibody-mediated protection against Staphylococcus aureus dermonecrosis and sepsis by a whole cell vaccine. Vaccine. 2017 07 05; 35(31):3834-3843. View abstract
  4. Capsular Polysaccharide (CPS) Release by Serotype 3 Pneumococcal Strains Reduces the Protective Effect of Anti-Type 3 CPS Antibodies. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2016 02; 23(2):162-7. View abstract
  5. Effect of nonheme iron-containing ferritin Dpr in the stress response and virulence of pneumococci. Infect Immun. 2014 Sep; 82(9):3939-47. View abstract
  6. Multiple antigen-presenting system (MAPS) to induce comprehensive B- and T-cell immunity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 13; 110(33):13564-9. View abstract
  7. Identification of protective pneumococcal T(H)17 antigens from the soluble fraction of a killed whole cell vaccine. PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e43445. View abstract
  8. A bivalent vaccine to protect against Streptococcus pneumoniae and Salmonella typhi. Vaccine. 2012 May 14; 30(23):3405-12. View abstract
  9. GMP-grade pneumococcal whole-cell vaccine injected subcutaneously protects mice from nasopharyngeal colonization and fatal aspiration-sepsis. Vaccine. 2010 Nov 03; 28(47):7468-75. View abstract
  10. Options for inactivation, adjuvant, and route of topical administration of a killed, unencapsulated pneumococcal whole-cell vaccine. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Jun; 17(6):1005-12. View abstract
  11. Mechanisms in the serotype-independent pneumococcal immunity induced in mice by intranasal vaccination with the cell wall polysaccharide. Microb Pathog. 2009 Sep; 47(3):177-82. View abstract