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Child Health Institute of New Jersey


Bobby Brooke Herrera is an assistant professor of global health at Rutgers Global Health Institute. He holds joint appointments in the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine and at the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, both part of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He also was named a Rutgers Presidential Faculty Scholar.

Research in his laboratory focuses on understanding adaptive immunity against globally relevant pathogens that cause lethal human disease and for which there are limited options for treatment or vaccination. His lab uses a number of approaches in epidemiology, immunology, virology, and molecular biology to profile the diversity and function of antibodies and T cells generated in response to infection or vaccination. Through this work, he seeks to advance diagnostic and vaccine design.

Bobby Brooke Herrera received a Ph.D. degree at Harvard University and performed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. He has cofounded two biotech startup companies and was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for health care in 2020.

Research Interests

Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Vaccinology, T cells, B cells, Antibodies, Diagnostics, Public Health

Dr. Bobby Brooke Herrera studies adaptive immunity against globally relevant pathogens that cause lethal human disease. Through this work, he seeks to advance diagnostic and vaccine design.

  • His lab uses methods in epidemiology, immunology, and virology to profile the diversity and function of antibodies and T cell generated in response to natural infection or vaccination.
  • His vaccine platform uses T cell immunogens as probes to measure and understand cellular responses to infection and/or vaccination in a variety of cohorts. In collaboration with biotech companies, he then tests these vaccines in small animal models to assess their safety and efficacy.
  • His diagnostic platform uses novel monoclonal antibodies derived from mice or humans and nanoparticles to detect and/or distinguish viruses.


Research Summary

The Herrera laboratory aims to improve global public health by translating insights from productive adaptative immunity into effective diagnostics and T-cell based vaccines for infectious diseases. The lab produces monoclonal antibodies, and combines them with nanoparticles, to develop and validate low-cost, rapid diagnostics. The lab also synthetically designs and produces viral epitopes and/or proteins, predicted to be preferentially targeted by the cellular response. These epitopes/proteins are then fused to a genetically modified bacterial toxin to generate a T cell immunogen. In particular, the lab is interested in understanding differences in the T cell response during asymptomatic infection compared to severe disease. Once an optimal immunogen has been identified, the lab uses it as a T cell-based vaccine in small animal models to test for safety and efficacy.


Featured Publications

  • Preprint: Akanmu S, Herrera BB, Chaplin B, Ogunsola F, Osibogun A, Onawoga F, John-Olabode S, Akase IE, Nwosu A, Hamel DJ, Chang CA. High SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in Lagos, Nigeria with robust antibody and cellular responses. medRxiv. 2022 Jan 1.
  • Herrera BB, Mayoral R, Brites C. Development and Validation of a Rapid Screening Test for HTLV-I IgG Antibodies. Viruses. 2023 Jan;15(1):129.
  • Salcedo N, Reddy A, Gomez AR, Bosch I, Herrera BB. Monoclonal antibody pairs against SARS-CoV-2 for rapid antigen test development. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2022 Mar 31;16(3):e0010311.
  • Salcedo N, Sena BF, Qu X, Herrera BB. Comparative evaluation of rapid isothermal amplification and antigen assays for screening testing of SARS-CoV-2. Viruses. 2022 Feb 25;14(3):468.
  • Herrera BB, Hamel DJ, Oshun P, Akinsola R, Akanmu AS, Chang CA, Eromon P, Folarin O, Adeyemi KT, Happi CT, Lu Y. A modified anthrax toxin-based enzyme-linked immunospot assay reveals robust T cell responses in symptomatic and asymptomatic Ebola virus exposed individuals. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2018 May 24;12(5):e0006530.
  • Herrera BB, Tsai WY, Chang CA, Hamel DJ, Wang WK, Lu Y, Mboup S, Kanki PJ. Sustained specific and cross-reactive T cell responses to Zika and dengue virus NS3 in West Africa. Journal of virology. 2018 Mar 14;92(7):e01992-17.