Facundo Batista

Facundo Batista, PhD

Principal Investigator


Associate Director

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Harvard Medical School

Contact


857-268-7073

Room 876

Facundo's Harvard Faculty Page

B cells, antibodies, preclinical vaccinology

Research Overview

The Batista lab studies the fundamental biology of the immune system to develop the next generation of vaccines and therapeutics. Our targets include HIV, malaria, influenza, and SARS-CoV-2, and our approach focuses on B cells, a critical component of the immune system responsible for producing antibodies.

The Batista lab investigates how, where, and when B cells are activated, with the goal of rationalizing the development of vaccines. Historically, our lab has focused on understanding B cell receptor (BCR) function, including BCR signaling dynamics, inhibitory and stimulatory regulation by co-receptors, and interactions with the cortical cytoskeleton. More recent projects investigate the role of B cell metabolism (e.g., autophagy and mitochondrial flux) in driving humoral immunity. The lab’s applied immunology work primarily consists of the creation of new mouse models for the preclinical testing of immunogens and vaccination strategies; we use these models to assess the effectiveness of immunizations in recruiting B cells to germinal centers, inducing B cell receptor mutations, and producing high affinity antibodies.

Recognition and Media

The Batista Lab has received funding from a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant, and NIAID grants in basic B cell biology. They also been awarded a grant for translational vaccinology. Dr. Batista is the co-lead PI of the Scripps Consortium for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development (CHAVD) Scientific Research Support Unit and co-lead of the publicly available MIT course, "COVID-19, SAR-CoV-2, and the Pandemic."

COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the Pandemic

About

Dr. Facundo Batista was a tenured Member of the Francis Crick Institute and a Professor at Imperial College London. He received his PhD from the International School of Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Facundo is a recipient of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit and EMBO Young Investigator Awards. He is an elected member or fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the Academia de Ciencias de América Latina (ACAL), the UK Academy of Medical Science, and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO); he also serves as the current Chief Editor for The EMBO Journal.

Selected Publications

Vaccination in a humanized mouse model elicits highly protective PfCSP-targeting anti-malarial antibodies

Kratochvil S, Shen CH, Lin YC, Xu K, Nair U, Da Silva Pereira L, Tripathi P, Arnold J, Chuang GW, Melzi E, Schön A, Zhang B, Dillon M, Bonilla B, Flynn BJ, Kirsch KH, Kisalu NK, Kiyuka PK, Liu T, Ou L, Pancera M, Rawi R, Reveiz M, Seignon K, Wang LT, Waring MT, Warner J, Yang Y, Francica JR, Idris AH, Seder RA, Kwong PD, Batista FD

Immunity. 2021 Dec 14; 54(12):2859-2876 PubMed Read on Journal Site

Multiplexed CRISPR/CAS9-mediated engineering of pre-clinical mouse models bearing native human B cell receptors

Wang X, Ray R, Kratochvil S, Melzi E, Lin YC, Giguere S, Xu L, Warner J, Cheon D, Liguori A, Groschel B, Phelps N, Adachi Y, Tingle R, Wu L, Crotty S, Kirsch KH, Nair U, Schief WR, Batista FD

The EMBO Journal. 2021; 40(2):e105926 PubMed Read on Journal Site

A generalized HIV vaccine design strategy for priming of broadly neutralizing antibody responses

Steichen JM, Lin YC, Havenar-Daughton C, Pecetta S, Ozorowski G, Willis JR, Toy L, Sok D, Liguori A, Kratochvil S, Torres JL, Kalyuzhniy O, Melzi E, Kulp DW, Raemisch S, Hu X, Bernard SM, Georgeson E, Phelps N, Adachi Y, Kubitz M, Landais E, Umotoy J, Robinson A, Briney B, Wilson IA, Burton DR, Ward AB, Crotty S, Batista FD, Schief WR

Science. 2019; 366(6470):eaax4380 PubMed Read on Journal Site

Protein kinase C-β dictates B cell fate by regulating mitochondrial remodeling, metabolic reprogramming, and heme biosynthesis

Tsui C, Martinez-Martin N, Gaya M, Maldonado P, Llorian M, Legrave NM, Rossi M, MacRae JI, Cameron AJ, Parker PJ, Leitges M, Bruckbauer A, Batista FD

Immunity. 2018 Jun 19; 48(6):1144-1159.e5 PubMed Read on Journal Site

One-step CRISPR/Cas9 method for the rapid generation of human antibody heavy chain knock-in mice

Lin YC, Pecetta S, Steichen JM, Kratochvil S, Melzi E, Arnold J, Dougan SK, Wu L, Kirsch KH, Nair U, Schief WR, Batista FD

The EMBO Journal. 2018; 37(18):e99243 PubMed Read on Journal Site

A switch from canonical to noncanonical autophagy shapes B cell responses

Martinez-Martin N, Maldonado P, Gasparrini F, Frederico B, Aggarwal S, Gaya M, Tsui C, Burbage M, Keppler SJ, Montaner B, Jefferies HB, Nair U, Zhao YG, Domart MC, Collinson L, Bruckbauer A, Tooze SA, Batista FD

Science. 2017; 355(6325):641-647 PubMed Read on Journal Site

Initiation of antiviral B cell immunity relies on innate signals from spatially positioned NKT cells

Gaya M, Barral P, Burbage M, Aggarwal S, Montaner B, Warren Navia A, Aid M, Tsui C, Maldonado P, Nair U, Ghneim K, Fallon PG, Sekaly RP, Barouch DH, Shalek AK, Bruckbauer A, Strid J, Batista FD

Cell. 2017; 17:31387–9 PubMed Read on Journal Site

Inflammation-induced disruption of SCS macrophages impairs B cell responses to secondary infection

Gaya M, Castello A, Montaner B, Rogers N, Reis e Sousa C, Bruckbauer A, Batista FD

Science. 2015; 347(6222), 667-672 PubMed Read on Journal Site

Lab Team

Madhav Akauliya

Research Fellow

Maria Bottermann

Research Fellow

Gordon Dale

Research Fellow

Jordan R. Ellis-Pugh

Research Technician I

Abigail Esposito

Research Technician I

Amrit Raj Ghosh

Research Fellow

Sophie Giguere

Graduate Student

Ja-Hyun Koo

Research Fellow

Edward Lamperti

Project Manager, Research

Paula Maldonado

Research Fellow

Usha Nair

Senior Research Scientist

Manfredo Perez

Senior Research Lab Assistant

Thavaleak Prum

Veterinary Technologist

Rashmi Ray

Research Fellow

Xuesong Wang

Research Fellow

John Warner

Senior Research Technologist

Stephanie Weldon

Program Manager

Zhenfei Xie

Research Fellow

Liling Xu

Research Scientist

Yu Yan

Research Fellow

Elizabeth Zhou

Research Technician I

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