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Enzo Paoletti is an Italian scientist who devised a strategy to produce DNA vaccines. Working with his colleague Dennis Panicali at the New York State department of Health and using genetic engineering techniques, the researchers were able to transform ordinary smallpox vaccine into vaccines that may be able to prevent other diseases.
Paoletti and his colleague, Dennis Panicali, a virologist, altered the DNA of vaccinia virus by inserting a gene from another virus (namely herpes, hepatitis B or influenza). The efforts resulted in multiple veterinary vaccines and the development of the first DNA vaccine for humans, a single-dose Japanese encephalitis vaccine called IMOJEV released in 2010. As of June 2015, no other DNA vaccines are available for use in humans.
- Paoletti, Enzo, Bernard R. Lipinskas, Carol Samsonoff, Susan Mercer, and Dennis Panicali (1984) "Construction of Live Vaccines Using Genetically Engineered Poxviruses: Biological Activity of Vaccinia Virus Recombinants Expressing the Hepatitis B Virus Surface Antigen and the Herpes Simplex Virus Glycoprotein D" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81:193-197
- Panicali, Dennis, Stephen W. Davis, Randall L. Weinberg, Enzo Paoletti (1983) "Construction of Live Vaccines by Using Genetically Engineered Poxviruses: Biological Activity of Recombinant Vaccinia Virus Expressing Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80:5364-5368
- US Patent 4722848 - Method for immunizing animals with synthetically modified vaccinia virus