Jenna Guthmiller earned bachelor’s degrees in Biology, Biotechnology, and Microbiology from South Dakota State University in 2013. She earned a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology under the mentorship of Dr. Noah Butler at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2017. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago with Dr. Patrick Wilson.
The Guthmiller lab is interested in understanding how broadly protective humoral immunity against influenza viruses develops and can be harnessed by vaccination. We are also interested in understanding the co-evolution of influenza viruses and the humoral immune response.
The adaptive immune system does not respond to all parts of an antigen evenly, a phenomenon known as immunodominance. In the context of influenza, the B cell response is preferentially induced against the variable epitopes of the hemagglutinin (HA) domain rather than more conserved epitopes of the HA stalk domain. We are investigating the factors that regulate immunodominance and developing tools to shift immunodominance to the HA stalk domain.
The breadth and specificity of the humoral immune response against influenza viruses is shaped by past influenza virus exposure. We are investigating how past exposures and exposure routes shape the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies.
Antigenic drift of influenza virus HA is driven to evade host antibody responses. We are dissecting how 1) antibodies against distinct epitopes shape viral evolution and 2) and how viral evolution shapes infectivity and pathogenesis.
Dr. Guthmiller received a Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. She also received training grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Center of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) and the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVIC).