Galit Alter, Ph.D.
Galit Alter, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in Medicine at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard and leads a laboratory that collectively works towards the single goal of developing novel vaccine approaches aimed at recruiting and directing the antiviral activity of the innate immune system to kill virally infected cells. Dr. Alter received her Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine from McGill University and performed her post-doctoral work under Dr. Marcus Altfeld at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of the innate immune response and the adaptive humoral immune response, with a focus on defining the role of innate immune recruiting antibodies in providing specificity to the innate immune system to kill virally infected cells. Specifically, Dr. Alter’s work focuses on developing high-throughput assays aimed at dissecting the “protective profiles” and functional activity of polyclonal pools of antiviral antibodies induced via vaccination or during natural infection. To this end her laboratory has established high-throughput assays that simultaneously interrogate the functional activity of polyclonal pools of antibodies in tandem to defining the biophysical features of the most functional humoral immune responses. Together, Dr. Alter utilizes these data to then selectively purify the most “protective” antigen-specific B cells for RNA sequencing, to enable to production of the most potent therapeutic antibodies and to learn about the underlying mechanism by which protective B cell responses are programmed to aide in the development of next generation vaccines that may direct the antiviral activity of the innate immune response.