Nicholas J. Mantis

Nicholas J. Mantis

School of Public Health
Biomedical Sciences

PhD, Cornell University (1994)
Postdoctoral training: Pasteur Institute (Paris)
Postdoctoral training: Children's Hospital Boston
Postdoctoral training: Harvard Medical School

A portrait of Nicholas Mantis

Affiliation: Division of Infectious Diseases, Wadsworth Center


The Mantis Laboratory employs methods in molecular microbiology, cell biology, immunology, and structural biology to investigate how antibodies function to protect vulnerable tissues from infectious agents and toxins, and to apply this information to the development of more effective vaccines. Graduate students in the laboratory are seeking to understand the mechanisms by which secretory antibodies interfere with the ability of pathogens like Vibrio cholerae and Salmonella enterica to colonize and invade intestinal tissues. They have engineered single domain antibodies (“nanobodies”) and intracellular antibodies (“intrabodies”) capable of neutralizing the biothreat agent, ricin toxin, on the outside and inside of host cells. Current doctoral and masters’ students are exploring how antibodies prevent Lyme disease following a tick-borne infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Other ongoing projects in the lab include collaborations with the Wadsworth Center’s Bloodborne Virus Laboratory using dried blood spot technologies to survey SARS-COV-2 infections and vaccinations on a population scale. The Mantis Lab also has a number of active partnerships with academic teams, medical centers and biopharmaceutical companies.


Research interests

  • Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Immunology
  • Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Vaccines
  • Antibodies


Research concentrations

  • Drug Discovery & Therapeutics
  • Infection & Immunity
  • Structural Biology


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