JosA V. Torres




Dr. José V. Torres got his BS degree in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, a MS degree in Immunology and Cancer Pathology, and a PhD in Immunology from Baylor College of Medicine. He performed immunological research on viruses, becoming a tenured Full Professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the School of Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He is the founding president of a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of new vaccines and the improvement of existing vaccines (VBI Vaccines, VBIVNASDAQ). His work has included the characterization of multiple antigenic sites for viruses including influenza, SRV, SIV, HIV, HCV and HPV.  Current research still employs antigenic variation in the development of cancer immunotherapeutic vaccines. Dr. Torres is passionate about global health, holistic medicine, worldwide conservation of the environment for plants and animals and shares his hobby of preservation of endangered tortoises and tropical fruits with his wife and daughter.  


Area of Interest

1)Vaccines Tumor Immunology Cancer Immunomodulation and Immunotherapy
2)Preventive and Therapeutic Vaccination Against Cancer Design and development of new tumor vaccine components
3)Discover how tumors avoid recognition and elimination by the immune system
4) Development of preventive and therapeutic approaches against cancer Induction of cellular and mucosal immune responses against tumor cells.

top publication

1. Torres, J.V., Yoshioka, N. and Atassi, M.Z. Antigenic Regions on the B Chain of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and Development of Hormone Specific Antibodies. Immunological Investigations 16:607-618. 1987

2. Torres, J.V., Wyde, P.R. and Atassi, M.Z. Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Recognition Sites on the Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin. Immunology Letters 19:49-54. 1988

3. Atassi, M.Z., Torres, J.V. and Wyde, P.R. Cytotoxic and Helper T Lymphocyte Responses to Antibody Recognition Regions on Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin. Advances In Experimental Medicine and Biology 251:49-64. 1989

4. Werner, L.L., Malley, A., Torres, J.V., Leung, C.Y., Kwang, H.S. and Benjamini, E. Synthetic Peptides of Envelope Proteins of Two Different Strains of Simian AIDS Retrovirus (SRV-1 and SRV-2) Represent Unique Antigenic Determinants for Serum Neutralizing Antibodies. Molecular Immunology 27(11):1103-1111. 1990

5. Werner, L.L., Torres, J.V., Leung, C.Y., Kwang, H.S., Malley, A. and Benjamini, E. Immunobiological Properties of a Recombinant Simian Retrovirus-1 Envelope Protein and a Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibody Directed Against It. Molecular Immunology. 28:819-826. 1991

6. Torres, J.V., Werner, L.L., Malley, A. and Benjamini, E. The Induction of Neutralizing Antibodies by Synthetic Peptides of the Envelope Protein of Type D Simian Retrovirus-1 (SRV-1). Molecular Immunology. 28:907-913. 1991

7. Malley, A., Werner, L.L., Benjamini, E., Leung, C.Y., Torres, J.V., Pangaras, N., Shiigi, S. and Axthelm, M. Characterization of T and B Cell Epitopes of a Simian Retrovirus (SRV-2) Envelope Protein. Journal of Medical Primatology. 20:177-181. 1991

8. Torres, J.V., Werner, L.L., Malley, A. and Benjamini, E. Neutralization Epitope in the Envelope Glycoprotein of Simian Retrovirus-1 (SRV-1) and Identification of the Virus Receptor. Journal of Medical Primatology. 20:218-221. 1991

9. Benjamini, E., Torres, J.V., Werner, L.L. and Malley, A. Isolation and Characterization of the Neutralizable Epitope of Simian Retrovirus-1 (SRV-1) and of the Cell Receptor for the Virus. Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on the Immunobiology of Protein and Peptides. In: Atassi, M.Z. ed., Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Vol.303, Plenum Press, NY and London. pp.71-77. 1991

10. Van Kuyk, R.W., Acevedo, R.A., Torres, J.V., Levy, N.B., Planelles, V., Munn, R.J., Unger, R.E., Gardner, M.B., and Luciw, P.A. Characterization of Rhesus Macaque B Lymphoblastoid Cell Lines Infected with Simian Type D Retrovirus. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. 7:899-909. 1991

11. Malley, A., Torres, J.V., Benjamini, E., Pangares, N., and Axthelm, M. Characterization of T Cell Epitopes on the Envelope Glycoprotein of Simian Retrovirus 1 and 2 (SRV-1 and SRV-2) in Several Mouse Strains. Molecular Immunology. 29:999-1004. 1992

12. Torres, J.V., Malley, A., Banapour, B., Anderson, D.E., Axthelm, M.K., Gardner, M.B., and Benjamini, E. An Epitope on the Surface Envelope Glycoprotein (gp130) of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIVmac) Involved in Viral Neutralization and T Cell Activation. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. 9:423-428. 1993

13. Malley, A., Pangares, N., Mayo, S.K., Zeleny-Pooley, M., Torres, J.V., Benjamini, E., and Axthelm, M.K. Type D SRV-2 Virus-specific CD8+ and CD4-CD8- T Cells that Regulate Virus-induced T Cell Proliferation in Celebes Macaques. Journal of Medical Primatology. 22:80-85. 1993

14. Torres, J.V., Anderson, D.E., Malley, A., Banapour, B., Axthelm, M.K., Benjamini, E., and Gardner, M.B. SIV Envelope Glycoprotein Epitopes Recognized by Antibodies from Infected or Vaccinated Rhesus Macaques. Journal of Medical Primatology. 22:129-137. 1993

15. Haynes, B.F., Torres, J.V., Langlois, A.J., Bolognesi, D.P., Gardner, M.B., Scearce, R.M., Jones, D.M., Moody, M.A., McDanal, C., and Matthews, T.J. Induction of HIVMN Neutralizing Antibodies in Primates Using a Prime-boost Regimen of Hybrid Synthetic gp120 Envelope Peptides. Journal of Immunology. 151:1646-1653. 1993

16. Haynes, B.F., Yasutomi, Y., Torres, J.V., Gardner, M.B., Langlois, A.J., Bolognesi, D.P., Matthews, T.J., Scearce, R.M., Jones, D.M., Moody, M.A. et al. Use of Synthetic Peptides in Primates to Induce High-titered Neutralizing Antibodies and MHC Class I-restricted Cytotoxic T Cells Against Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Retroviruses: an HLA-Based Vaccine Strategy. Transaction of the Association of American Physicians. 106:33-41. 1993

17. Anderson, D.E., Malley, A., Benjamini, E., Gardner, M.B., and Torres, J.V., Hypervariable Epitope Constructs (HECs) as a Means of Accounting for Epitope Variability. Vaccine. 12:736-740. 1994

18. Kwang, J., and Torres, J.V. Oligopeptide-Based Enzyme Immunoassay for Ovine Lentivirus Antibody Detection. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 32:1813-1815. 1994

19. D\'Souza, M.P., Kent, K., Thiriart, C., Collignon, C., Milman, G., et. al. International Collaboration Comparing Neutralization and Binding Assays for Monoclonal Antibodies to Simian Immunodeficiency Virus. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 9:415-422. 1995

20. Mitchell, W.M., Torres, J.V., Johnson, P.R., Hirsch, V., Yilma, T., Gardner, M.B., and Robinson, Jr., W.E. Antibodies to the Putative SIV Infection-enhancing Domain Diminish Beneficial Effects of an SIV gp160 Vaccine in Rhesus Macaques. AIDS 9:27-34. 1995

21. Kraiselburd, E.A., and Torres, J.V. Properties of Virus-like Particles Produced by SIV Chronically Infected Human Cell Clones. Cellular and Molecular Biology 41:S41-S52. 1995

22. Weinberg, J., Liao, H.X., Torres, J.V., Matthews, T.J., Robinson, J., and Haynes, B.F. Identification of a Synthetic Peptide that Mimics an HIV Glycoprotein 120 Envelope Conformational Determinant Exposed Following Ligation of Glycoprotein 120 by CD4. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, 13:657-664. 1997

23. Meyer, D., Anderson, D.E., Gardner, M.B., and Torres, J.V. Hypervariable Epitope Constructs Representing Variability in Envelope Glycoprotein of SIV Induce a Broad Humoral Immune Response in Rabbits and Rhesus Macaques. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. 14 (9): 751-760. 1998

24. Anderson, D. and Torres, J.V. SRV Receptor and Neutralization Mechanism by Antibodies to the Envelope Glycoprotein. Viral Immunology, 12(1):47-56. 1999

25. Vu, HM, Myers, D, de Lorimier, R, Matthews, TJ, Moody, MA, Heinly, C, Torres, JV, Haynes, BF and Spicer, L. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Analysis of Solution Conformations in C4-V3 Hybrid Peptides Derived From Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Type 1 gp120: Relation to Specificity of Peptide-induced Anti-HIV Neutralizing Antibodies. Journal of Virology, 73(1):746-750. 1999

26. Muñoz, J.F., Salmen, S., Carlos, M.P., Berrueta, L.R., Cova, J.A., Donis, J.H., Hernández, M.R, and Torres, J.V. Effect of HIV-1 on Intracellular Activation and Superoxide Production by Neutrophils. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 180(1):206-210. 1999

27. Meyer, D. and Torres, J.V. Induction of Cytotoxic and Helper T Cell Responses by Modified Variability Peptides. Viral Immunology, 12(2):117-129. 1999

28. Meyer, D. and Torres, J.V. Hypervariable Epitope Construct: A Synthetic Immunogen That Overcomes MHC Restriction of Antigen Presentation. Molecular Immunology, 36(10): 631-637. 1999

29. Carlos, MP, Yamamura, Y., Diaz-Mitoma F. and Torres, JV. Antibodies from HIV positive and AIDS Patients Bind to an HIV Envelope Variable Antigen Vaccine. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and Human Retrovirology, 22(4): 317-324. 1999

30. Carlos, M.P., Anderson, D.E., Gardner, M.B. and Torres, J.V. Immunogenicity of a Vaccine Preparation Representing the Variable Regions of the HIV-1 Envelope Glycoprotein. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, 16(2): 153-161. 2000

31. Balaban, N, Singh, B, Goldkorn, T, Rasooly, A, Torres, J.V. and Uziel, O. Activation and Inhibition of the Staphylococcal AGR system (technical comment). Science, 287:391a. 2000.

32. Leung, NJ, Aldovini, A, Young, R, Jarvis, MA, Smith JM, Meyer D, Anderson, DE, Carlos, MP, Gardner, MB and Torres, JV. The Kinetics of Specific Immune Responses in Rhesus Monkeys Inoculated with Live Recombinant BCG Expressing SIV Gag, Pol, Env, and Nef Proteins. Virology, 268:94-103. 2000

33. Muñoz, J.F., Salmen, S., Berrueta, L.R., Carlos, M.P., and Torres, J.V. Effect of Plasma HIV-1 RNA Levels on Neutrophil Oxidative Burst. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 181(3): 1214-16. 2000

34. Smith, J.M., N. Leung, and Torres J.V. Preparation and Induction of Immune Responses by a DNA AIDS Vaccine. Viral Immunology, 13(3): 343-351. 2000

35. Miyagi,T., Chuang, LF., Doi, RH., Carlos, MP., Torres, JV. and Chuang, RY. Morphine Induces Gene Expression of CCR5 in Human CEMx174 Lymphocytes. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 275(40): 31305-31310. 2000

36. Balaban, N., Collins, V., Cullor, J.S., Hume, E.B., Medina-Acosta, E., O\'Callaghan, R.,Vieira da Motta, O., Rossitto, P.V., Serafim da Silveira L., Shirtliff, M.E., Tarkowski, A., and Torres, J.V. Prevention of Diseases Caused by Staphylococcus aureus Using the Peptide RIP. Peptides, 21 1301-1311. 2000

37. Gov, Y., Bitler, A., Dell’Acqua, G., Torres, J.V., and Balaban, N. RNAIII inhibiting peptide (RIP), a global inhibitor of Staphyloccocus aureus pathogenesis:structure and function. Peptides, 22(10), 1609-1620, 2001

38. Hel Z, Nacsa J, Kelsall B, Tsai WP, Letvin N, Parks RW, Tryniszewska E, Picker L, Lewis MG, Edghill-Smith Y, Moniuszko M, Pal R, Stevceva L, Altman JD, Allen TM, Watkins D, Torres JV, Berzofsky JA, Belyakov IM, Strober W, Franchini G. Impairment of Gag-Specific CD8(+) T-Cell Function in Mucosal and Systemic Compartments of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus mac251- and Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus KU2-Infected Macaques. Journal of Virology. Dec;75(23):11483-95. 2001

39. Anderson, D.E., Carlos, M.P., Nguyen, L., and Torres, J.V. Overcoming Original (Antigenic) Sin, Clinical Immunology, 101(2), 152-157, 2001

40. Smith, J.M., and Torres J.V. A Retroviral DNA Vaccine Vector. Viral Immunology, 14(4), 339-348, 2001

1978:Undergraduate Fellowship, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR
1986:Predoctoral Training Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine
1987:NASA Predoctoral Training Award
1991:National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship
1994:ASM Visiting Professorship at the UPR School of Medicine
1996:President and Founder: Latin American Council for Biomedical Research
2000:Bicentennial Medal, ULA, Merida, Venezuela
2000:C. John Tupper Award, School of Medicine, UCD
2001:Founding President of Variation Biotechnologies Inc.
2002:Co-Founder of the Sonora Cancer Research Center
2003:Roche-Syntex Rosenkranz Award