Texas Tech University

Ebenezer Tumban

Ebenezer TumbanDr. Tumban is a molecular virologist and vaccinologist by training. Before joining Texas Technological University, Dr. Tumban was an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director of the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University (MTU). He enjoys educating students on infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi), the biology of cancer, and the body's response to infectious agents. Dr. Tumban has worked on so many research projects ranging from assessing the molecular determinants of arboviruses (such as dengue and Langat viruses) modes of transmission, the generation of recombinant antigens for developing immunodiagnostic kits against infectious agents (e.g. dengue viruses), to the development of candidate vaccines against viral infectious agents. Dr. Tumban is a co-inventor on a U.S./European Union patent for a virus-like particle (VLP)-based L2 candidate vaccine against human papillomaviruses, which is licensed to Agilvax Biotech. He is currently interested in developing and testing candidate VLP-based subunit vaccines against viral infectious agents. Vaccines against infectious agents can be developed using conventional or non-conventional approaches. A non-conventional approach utilizes a portion of an infectious agent to develop a subunit vaccine. Subunit vaccines are very safe. However, subunit vaccines especially those based on peptide antigens are very small and unstable in serum. Additionally, they lack the size and geometry required to elicit robust immune responses. As such, peptide vaccines must be immunized, as a complex with a carrier protein, at multiple large (microgram) doses to elicit a good immune response. Research in the Tumban Lab focuses on developing and assessing strategies to enhance the immunogenicity of subunit vaccines against viral infections. Our research falls under three broad projects:
Dr. Tumban is an ad hoc reviewer for many scientific journals (including the Journal of Vaccine and the Journal of Antiviral Research) and he has served on grant review panels for the Department of Defense (U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Grants). He was one of the lead investigators at MTU who set up a COVID-19 testing laboratory on campus during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. He also prepared and supplied viral transport medium to hospitals/clinics for COVID-19 testing in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.