Ian A. Wilson

Scripps Research

Primary Section: 44, Microbial Biology
Secondary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Membership Type: International Member (elected 2016)


Prof. Wilson obtained his B.Sc. from Edinburgh University (1971), D. Phil. (1976) and D.Sc. (2000) from Oxford University. He joined The Scripps Research Institute as faculty member in 1982, where he is currently Hansen Professor of Structural Biology and Chair of the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology. His laboratory focuses on the structural basis of immune recognition of enveloped viruses. His current focus is on how influenza virus, HIV-1, HCV, SAR-CoV-2 and the P. falciparum are recognized by broadly neutralizing and protective antibodies to inform on design of novel vaccines and therapeutics. Prof. Wilson is a Fellow of the Royal Society, Corresponding Fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh, Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, International Member of the National Academy of Sciences, and an Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He has authored more than 800 papers, and is on the Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors of Science and the Editorial Board of Immunity.

Research Interests

Research in my lab is related to immune recognition of microbial pathogens. We have structurally characterized many key antigen recognition receptors in innate and adaptive immunity, including T cell receptors, MHC class I and II, antibodies and antibody complexes, CD1, TLRs, VLRs, NODs, etc. We currently focus on viral glycoproteins from influenza, HIV-1, HCV, and SARS-CoV-2 and other enveloped viruses using x-ray crystallography and other biophysical approaches. We identify sites of vulnerability on HIV-1, influenza virus, HCV, SARS-CoV-2 and related CoVs, and P. falciparum malaria parasite, that are targeted by broadly neutralizing and protective antibodies, why these antibodies are so effective, and how we can use this information for structure-based design of vaccines and therapies, including antibody therapeutics.

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