Dr. Mutsvunguma earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Rhodes University, South Africa. Dr. Mutsvunguma joined Dr. Ogembo's laboratory in 2016 as a postdoctoral fellow to build on her interests in virology and cancer research. Under the mentorship of Dr. Ogembo, her goal is to develop prophylactic and immunotherapeutic strategies against two gamma-herpesviruses, Epstein-Barr virus, and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. Dr. Mutsvunguma has also developed several monoclonal antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus proteins as reagents for immunotherapeutic and diagnosis of gamma-herpesvirus infection.
2013 – Rhodes University, South Africa, Ph.D., Biochemistry
2010 – Rhodes University, South Africa, M.Sc., Microbiology
2008 – Rhodes University, South Africa, B.Sc. Honors, Biochemistry
2007 – Rhodes University, South Africa, B.Sc., Microbiology and Biochemistry
2018-present, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Immuno-Oncology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
2016 –2017, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
2015 – 2016, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Medicine, The University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
2014, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Medicine, Rhodes University, South Africa
2011, Advertisement Portfolio Manager, Cancer Initiative, Rhodes University, South Africa
2010, Laboratory Manager, Picornavirus Research Group, Rhodes University, South Africa
Awards & Memberships
2016, Faculty Of Research Committee Individual Research Grants (The University of The Witwatersrand)
2014, Rhodes University Post-doctoral Fellowship
2011 - 2013, NRF grantholder linked bursary (PhD)
2009 - 2010, NRF grantholder linked bursary (MSc)
Escalante, GM., Foley J, Mutsvunguma LZ, Rodrigeuz E, Mulama DH, Muniraju M, Ye P, Barase, AK and Ogembo JG. 2020. A Pentameric Epstein-Barr Virus-Like Particl Vaccine Elicits High Titers of Neutralizing Antibodies against Epstein-Barr Virus Infection in Immunized Rabbits. Vaccines 8 (2), 169. Doi:10.3390/vaccines8020169. PMID:32268575. PMCID: PMC7349562
van den Berg FT, Makoah NA, Ali SA, Scott TA, Ziki R, Mutsvunguma LZ, Mkhize N, Lambson B, Kgagudi P, Crowther C, Abdool Karim SS, Balazs AB, Weinberg MS, Ely A, Arbuthnot P, Morris L. 2019. AAV-mediated expression of broadly neutralizing and vaccine-like antibodies targeting the HIV-1 envelope V2 region. Molecular Therapy-Methods & Clinical Development. 14: 100–112. PMCID: PMC6616373. PMID: 31334303
Muniraju, M., Mutsvunguma LZ, Foley J, Escalante GM, Rodriguez E, Nabiee R, Totonchy J, Mulama DH, Nyagol J, Wussow F, Barasa AK, Brehm M, and Ogembo JG. 2019. Kaposi Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Glycoprotein H Is Indispensable for Infection of Epithelial, Endothelial, and Fibroblast Cell Types. Journal of Virology 93. PMID: 21142670. PMCID: PMC6675886.
*Mulama, D. H., * Mutsvunguma LZ, Totonchy J, Ye P, Foley J, Escalante GM, Rodriguez E, Nabiee R, Muniraju M, Wussow F, Barasa AK, and Ogembo JG. 2019. A multivalent Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-like particle vaccine capable of eliciting high titers of neutralizing antibodies in immunized rabbits. Vaccine 37:4184-4194. PMID: 31201053. PMCID: PMC6876619
Mutsvunguma LZ., Rodriguez E, Escalante GM, Muniraju M, Williams JC, Warden C, Qin H, Wang J, Wu X, Barasa A, Mulama DH, Mwangi W, and Ogembo JC. 2019. Identification of multiple potent neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus gp350 protein with potential for clinical application and as reagents for mapping immunodominant epitopes. Virology 536:1-15. PMID: 31377598. PMCID: PMC6733660
de la Mare J, Contu L, Hunter MC, Moyo B, Sterrenberg JN, Dhanani KC, Mutsvunguma LZ and Edkins AL. 2014 Breast cancer: Current developments in molecular approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery Journal 9 (2):153-75. PMID:24171821.
Mutsvunguma LZ, Moetlhoa, B, Edkins AL, Luke GA, Blatch GL and Knox C. 2011. Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus infection induces a redistribution of heat shock proteins 70 and 90 in BHK-21 cells, and is inhibited by novobiocin and geldanamycin. Cell Stress and Chaperones 16:505–515. PMID:21445704. PMCID: PMC3156266
Jauka TI, Mutsvunguma L, Boshoff A, Edkins AL and Knox C. 2010. Localisation of Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis virus protein 2C to the Golgi apparatus using antibodies generated against a peptide region. J Virol Methods 168:162–169. PMID:20471424.