Center for Vaccine Research

Ernesto T.A. Marques Jr., MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

Ernesto T. A. Marques Jr. graduated “summa cum laude “ as a medical doctor in 1993 at the “Universidade Federal de Pernambuco” in Brazil. In 1999 Dr. Marques obtained a Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2003 Dr. Marques became a consultant for the Fundação Osvaldo Cruz of Brazil. In 2006 Dr. Marques was appointed as Assistant Public Health Researcher at the Fundação Osvaldo Cruz, Centro de Pesquisa Aggeu Magalhães - CPqAM and founded of the Virology department known as LaViTE. In 2009 Ernesto joined the Center for Vaccine Research as Associate Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. In 2011 University of Pittsburgh and Fundação Osvaldo Cruz established a collaborative agreement and Dr. Marques has assumed the role of the liaison between the two institutions. Currently, Dr. Marques divides his time between Recife, Brazil and Pittsburgh and devotes his work to translational research on the development of preventive and therapeutic immunotherapies and diagnostic tools for epidemiological research. Dr. Marques research interests are focused on infectious diseases of importance to global, such as HIV, Zika, dengue and yellow fever.

Representative Publications

  • Cordeiro MT, Pena LJ, Brito CA, Gil LH, Marques ET. Positive IgM for Zika virus in the cerebrospinal fluid of 30 neonates with microcephaly in Brazil. Lancet (London, England). 2016 Apr 18. PMID:27103126. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30253-7.
  • Ernesto TA Marques, Priya Chikhlikar, Luciana Barros de Arruda, Ihid C Leao, Yang Lu, Justin Wong, Juei-Suei Chen, Barry Byrne, J Thomas August. HIV-1 p55Gag Encoded in the Lysosome-associated Membrane Protein-1 as a DNA Plasmid Vaccine Chimera Is Highly Expressed, Traffics to the Major Histocompatibility Class II Compartment, and Elicits Enhanced Immune Responses. Journal of Biological Chemistry 278 (39), 37926-37936. PMID: 12824194
  • Castanha PM, Braga C, Cordeiro MT, Souza AI, Silva CD Jr, Martelli CT, van Panhuis WG, Nascimento EJ, Marques ET. Placental transfer of dengue-specific antibodies and kinetics of dengue infection enhancing-activity in Brazilian infants. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2016 Apr 7. PMID:27056951. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiw143.
  • Gearhart TL, Montelaro RC, Schurdak ME, Pilcher CD, Rinaldo CR, Kodadek T, Park Y, Islam K, Yurko R, Marques ET Jr, Burke DS. Selection of a potential diagnostic biomarker for HIV infection from a random library of non-biological synthetic peptoid oligomers. Journal of Immunological Methods. 2016 May 12. PMID:27182050. doi:10.1016/j.jim.2016.05.001.
  • Jaenisch T, Rosenberger KD, Brito C, Brady O, Brasil P, Marques E. Estimating the risk for microcephaly after Zika virus infection in Brazil. Bull World Health Organ. E-pub: 30 May 2016. doi:
  • Hazin AN, Poretti A, Cruz DD, Tenorio M, van der Linden A, Pena LJ, Brito C, Gil LH, Miranda-Filho DB, Marques ET, Martelli CM, Alves JG, Huisman TA, Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group. Computed Tomographic Findings in Microcephaly Associated with Zika Virus. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2016 Apr 6. PMID:27050112. doi:10.1056/NEJMc1603617.
  • Nascimento E, Mailliard R, Khan A, Sidney J, Sette A, Guzman N, Paulaitis M, Melo A, Cordeiro M, Gil L, Lemonnier F, Rinaldo CR, August J, Marques ET. Identification of Conserved and HLA Promiscuous DENV3 T-Cell Epitopes. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2013 Oct 10; 7 (10):e2497.
  • Luciana B Arruda, Del Sim, Priya R Chikhlikar, Milton Maciel, Kenji Akasaki, J Thomas August, Ernesto TA Marques. Dendritic cell-lysosomal-associated membrane protein (LAMP) and LAMP-1-HIV-1 gag chimeras have distinct cellular trafficking pathways and prime T and B cell responses to a diverse repertoire of epitopes. The Journal of Immunology 177 (4), 2265-2275. PMID: 16887987
  • Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group (Marques, Brito,Turchi, Miranda, Ximenes, Dhalia et al). Microcephaly in Infants, Pernambuco State, Brazil, 2015. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2016 Jun 15;22(6)PMID:27071041. doi:10.3201/eid2206.160062.
  • Marli Tenório Cordeiro, Ana Maria Silva, Carlos AA Brito, Eduardo JM Nascimento, Maria Cecilia F Magalhães, Georgia F Guimarães, Norma Lucena-Silva, Eduardo M Freese de Carvalho, Ernesto TA Marques. Characterization of a dengue patient cohort in Recife, Brazil. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 77 (6), 1128-1134. PMID: 18165535

Research Interests

The research expertise of Dr. Marques is the engineering design of novel vaccines, immunotherapies and diagnostic markers based on defined correlates of protection and/or pathogenesis identified in human samples from well characterized cohorts. The strategy he used is based on de development of detailed T and B cell epitopes maps and characterization of innate immune response (immunomes) induced by the pathogenic agents. The laboratory apply a combination of computational technologies, high throughput immune assays in human samples. Using the immunome maps, we explore patterns correlated either with immunity or pathogenicity and design novel antigen formulations containing selected epitopes , adequate delivery methods and innate immune stimulation. Currently we are applying this strategy to study Dengue, yellow fever, HIV among other agents.