Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Ellen Beswick

Kathryn Frietze, Ph.D.

Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
MSC08 4660
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
E-mail: kfrietze@salud.unm.edu

Office: BRF 323B
Tel: (505) 272-9945
Lab: BRF 320

Antibodies are a critical component of the immune system with both beneficial and harmful roles in infectious diseases, cancer, and autoimmune disease. Knowing the specific targets of antibodies can lead to prophylactic or therapeutic vaccines, new diagnostic or prognostic tests, and/or the development of new drugs.  

 Dr. Frietze’s research is focused on three goals:

  1. Developing new technologies to assess antibody specificity in infectious and chronic diseases.  Using deep sequencing technology coupled with a novel virus-like particle (VLP) affinity selection platform, Dr. Frietze investigates the targets of the antibody response for ovarian cancer, dengue virus infection, and Chlamydia trachomatis infection.  She is recently reported a novel antibody response in ovarian cancer patients which is associated with prolonged survival (Frietze et al., 2016, Cancer Immun Res).
  2. Understanding the role of specific antibody responses in protecting or harming patients.  Antibodies can have a beneficial or harmful role in human disease. For instance, protective antibody responses elicited by vaccines can protect against viral infections, while harmful autoantibody responses may cause tissue damage in autoimmune disease.  Dr. Frietze’s current work in this area is focused on investigating the mechanism of action of anti-CA125 antibodies in ovarian cancer (Frietze et al., 2016, Cancer Immun Res).  These antibodies were identified in a subset of ovarian cancer patients and are associated with prolonged survival.
  3. Translating our understanding of antibody responses into targeted therapeutic or prophylactic interventions for infectious and chronic diseases.  Ultimately, the understanding of specific immune responses to infectious and chronic diseases should be translated into real-world applications for patients.  Using the bacteriophage VLP platform, Dr. Frietze is working on developing a prophylactic vaccine for Chlamydia trachomatis.  This project involves identifying and engineering vaccine candidates and then testing these in both cell-culture based assays and in a mouse model of Chlamydia trachomatis.  She is also working to develop prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for ovarian cancer.

Dr. Frietze earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA and her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of New Mexico where she did her dissertation research under the direction of Dr. Adriana Kajon at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.  She also has a Graduate Certificate in University Science Teaching from the University of New Mexico and has an interest in adapting Problem-Based Learning to all levels of science education. She collaborates closely with Dr. Bryce Chackerian and Dr. David Peabody in the MGM Department.

Selected Publications:

Link to PubMed

Frietze, KM, Pascale, J.M., Moreno, B., Chackerian, B., and D.S. Peabody (2017). Pathogen-specific deep sequence-coupled biopanning: A method for surveying human antibody responses. PLoS One 2017 Feb 2;12(2):e0171511. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171511.

Daly, S.M, Joyner, J.A., Triplett, K.D., Elmore, B.O., Pokhrel, S., Frietze, K.M., Peabody, D.S., Chackerian, B., and P.R. Hall (2017).  VLP-based vaccine induces immune control of Staphylococcus aureus virulence regulation.  Scientific Reports 7, Article number 637 (2017). 

Chackerian B, Frietze KM. Moving towards a new class of vaccines for non-infectious chronic diseases. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2016 May;15(5):561-3.

Frietze KM, Peabody DS, Chackerian B. Engineering virus-like particles as vaccine platforms. Curr Opin Virol. 2016 Mar 29;18:44-49.

Frietze KM, Roden RB, Lee JH, Shi Y, Peabody DS, Chackerian B. Identification of Anti-CA125 Antibody Responses in Ovarian Cancer Patients by a Novel Deep Sequence-Coupled Biopanning Platform. Cancer Immunol Res. 2016 Feb;4(2):157-64.

Crossey E, Frietze K, Narum DL, Peabody DS, Chackerian B. Identification of an Immunogenic Mimic of a Conserved Epitope on the Plasmodium falciparum Blood Stage Antigen AMA1 Using Virus-Like Particle (VLP) Peptide Display. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 6;10(7):e0132560.

Frietze KM, Campos SK, Kajon AE. No evidence of a death-like function for species B1 human adenovirus type 3 E3-9K during A549 cell line infection. BMC Res Notes. 2012 Aug 11;5:429.

Frietze KM, Campos SK, Kajon AE. Open reading frame E3-10.9K of subspecies B1 human adenoviruses encodes a family of late orthologous proteins that vary in their predicted structural features and subcellular localization. J Virol. 2010 Nov;84(21):11310-22.