Spyros Kalams
Last active: 1/20/2015


Dr. Kalams joined the Infectious Disease staff at Vanderbilt University in 2002. Dr. Kalams is currently the director of viral immunology studies in the Vanderbilt Infectious Diseases Unit and is a co-investigator of the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (under the direction of Dr. Peter Wright). He is also the immunology core director of the newly established Vanderbilt Center For AIDS Research. The core laboratory will feature state of the art facilities that will include a true Biosafety Level 3 working environment and a Becton-Dickenson FACSaria high-speed cell-sorter currently configured for 9-color flow cytometry enclosed within the BL3 laboratory. He was previously on staff at the Partners AIDS Research center and Harvard Medical School where he was the laboratory director of the Harvard HIV vaccine trial unit. He was also the head of the core immunology laboratory for the Partners Center for AIDS Research, and the director of the Harvard immunology laboratory for the AIDS clinical trials unit. His laboratory efforts are directed toward the development of vaccination strategies to induce HIV-1-specific helper and cytotoxic T-cell responses in HIV-negative subjects, and to augment HIV-specific immune responses in HIV-infected individuals. As part of this work, his laboratory is evaluating new strategies to quantitate HIV-specific cytotoxic T cell (CTL) and helper responses, which will be important for the evaluation of vaccines entering clinical trials. Dr. Kalams was the first to demonstrate the persistence of HIVīˇ“1 specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clones in vivo during chronic HIV infection, and has received NIH R01-funding to 1) Evaluate why CTL responses decline with disease progression, 2) Assess the T-cell repertoire of developing and established immune responses, and 3) Determine whether the avidity of developing CTL responses influences viral set point. Other research interests include understanding the mechanisms of immune escape from CTL recognition (to evaluate the role HIV sequence variation plays in disease progression), and the evaluation of CTL responses of patients with long-term non-progressing HIV-1 infection (to evaluate whether patients without disease progression have unique or more robust immune responses). Dr. Kalams has mentored several fellows that have gone on to receive independent NIH funding and 2 of these fellows are currently on staff at the Partners AIDS Research Center/Massachusetts General Hospital. Of his current trainees, Dr. Dirk Meyer-Olson has had a recent manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Immunology. Dr. Meyer-Olson has also received independent funding to pursue research at Hanover Medical School in Germany. Another current trainee, Dr. Atif Siddique, is evaluating immune responses after therapeutic vaccination in ACTG trial a5058s. Dr. Siddique will be joining Dr. Kalams as a research instructor in Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In addition to HIV-related research, Dr. Kalams has received funding for an R01 grant and a program project, both in collaboration with Dr. Christopher Walker (Ohio State University), to evaluate the evolution of immune responses in HCV-infected chimpanzees. These studies are designed to evaluate the role of the immune system in the control of this chronic viral infection. Dr. Kalams was recently awarded a 5-year Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award to evaluate HIV-specific immune responses in infected mother-child pairs. This award will specifically be used to complete a research project at GHESKIO in Haiti. Dr. Kalams has a research technologist who will spend the majority of her time at GHESKIO organizing this project and training research technologists and fellows at GHESKIO to perform state of the art immunology assays to evaluate HIV-specific immune responses. Our future efforts in the laboratory will be to also evaluate the correlates of protective immunity for other intracellular


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Phase I/II randomized trial of safety and immunogenicity of LIPO-5 alone, ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) alone, and ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) prime/LIPO-5 boost in healthy, HIV-1-uninfected adult participants. Frey SE, Peiperl L, McElrath MJ, Kalams S, Goepfert PA, Keefer MC, Baden LR, Lally MA, Mayer K, Blattner WA, Harro CD, Hammer SM, Gorse GJ, Hural J, Tomaras GD, Levy Y, Gilbert P, deCamp A, Russell ND, Elizaga M, Allen M, Corey L (2014) Clin Vaccine Immunol 21(11): 1589-99
    › Primary publication · 25253665 (PubMed) · PMC4248765 (PubMed Central)
  2. Envelope variants circulating as initial neutralization breadth developed in two HIV-infected subjects stimulate multiclade neutralizing antibodies in rabbits. Malherbe DC, Pissani F, Sather DN, Guo B, Pandey S, Sutton WF, Stuart AB, Robins H, Park B, Krebs SJ, Schuman JT, Kalams S, Hessell AJ, Haigwood NL (2014) J Virol 88(22): 12949-67
    › Primary publication · 25210191 (PubMed) · PMC4249069 (PubMed Central)
  3. OpenCyto: an open source infrastructure for scalable, robust, reproducible, and automated, end-to-end flow cytometry data analysis. Finak G, Frelinger J, Jiang W, Newell EW, Ramey J, Davis MM, Kalams SA, De Rosa SC, Gottardo R (2014) PLoS Comput Biol 10(8): e1003806
    › Primary publication · 25167361 (PubMed) · PMC4148203 (PubMed Central)
  4. Emergence of broadly neutralizing antibodies and viral coevolution in two subjects during the early stages of infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1. Sather DN, Carbonetti S, Malherbe DC, Pissani F, Stuart AB, Hessell AJ, Gray MD, Mikell I, Kalams SA, Haigwood NL, Stamatatos L (2014) J Virol 88(22): 12968-81
    › Primary publication · 25122781 (PubMed) · PMC4249098 (PubMed Central)
  5. Cardiac implanted electronic device-related infective endocarditis: clinical features, management, and outcomes of 80 consecutive patients. Kim DH, Tate J, Dresen WF, Papa FC, Bloch KC, Kalams SA, Ellis CR, Baker MT, Lenihan DJ, Mendes LA (2014) Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 37(8): 978-85
    › Primary publication · 25060820 (PubMed)
  6. Cocaine enhances HIV-1-induced CD4(+) T-cell apoptosis: implications in disease progression in cocaine-abusing HIV-1 patients. Pandhare J, Addai AB, Mantri CK, Hager C, Smith RM, Barnett L, Villalta F, Kalams SA, Dash C (2014) Am J Pathol 184(4): 927-936
    › Primary publication · 24486327 (PubMed) · PMC3970001 (PubMed Central)
  7. Specificity and 6-month durability of immune responses induced by DNA and recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara vaccines expressing HIV-1 virus-like particles. Goepfert PA, Elizaga ML, Seaton K, Tomaras GD, Montefiori DC, Sato A, Hural J, DeRosa SC, Kalams SA, McElrath MJ, Keefer MC, Baden LR, Lama JR, Sanchez J, Mulligan MJ, Buchbinder SP, Hammer SM, Koblin BA, Pensiero M, Butler C, Moss B, Robinson HL, HVTN 205 Study Group, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases HIV Vaccines Trials Network (2014) J Infect Dis 210(1): 99-110
    › Primary publication · 24403557 (PubMed) · PMC4072895 (PubMed Central)