SmartVac © 2020 • Created with WebWave















EEA Grants (2014-2021)

Next Generation Viral Hepatitis B and C vaccine development in plants and algae using advanced biotechnological tools


Project Acronym: SmartVac

Duration: 48 months


Funding: 1.500.000,00 euro


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1) N-Glycosylation and N-Glycan Processing in HBV Biology and Pathogenesis.(2020) Dobrica MO, Lazar C, Branza-Nichita N. Cells. 9(6):E1404. Published 2020 Jun 4. doi:10.3390/cells9061404, IF 5,6


2) A polycarboxylic chelating ligand for efficient resin purification of His-tagged proteins expressed in mammalian systems. (2020) Codruta C. Popescu, Marius C. Stoian, Lia-Maria Cucos, Anca G. Coman, Antonio Radoi, Anca Paun, Niculina D. Hadade, Arnaud Gautier, Costin-Ioan Popescu and Mihaela Matache. RSC Adv., 10, 23931, IF 4,03


3) Production of Chimeric Hepatitis B Virus Surface Antigens in Mammalian Cells. (2020) Mihaela-Olivia Dobrica, Catalin Lazar and Norica Branza-Nichita. Vaccine Delivery Technology: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, Blaine Pfeifer and Andrew Hill (eds.), vol. 2183,, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Book chapter.


4) Challenges and Prospects of Plant-Derived Oral Vaccines against Hepatitis B and C Viruses. (2021) Pantazica AM, Cucos LM, Stavaru C, Clarke JL, Branza-Nichita N. Plants (Basel), 10, 2037., IF 4,6


5) Hepatitis C virus E2 envelope glycoprotein produced in Nicotiana benthamiana triggers humoral response with virus-neutralizing activity in vaccinated mice. (2021) Dobrica MO, van Eerde A, Tucureanu C, Onu A, Paruch L, Caras I, Vlase E, Steen H, Haugslien S, Alonzi D, Zitzmann N, Bock R, Dubuisson J, Popescu CI, Stavaru C, Liu-Clarke J, Branza-Nichita N.  Plant Biotechnology Journal, Oct;19(10):2027-2039, IF 9,8


6) Efficient cellular and humoral immune response and production of virus-neutralizing antibodies by the Hepatitis B Virus S/preS116-42 antigen (2022) Pantazica A-M, Dobrica MO, Lazar C, Scurtu C, Tucureanu C, Caras I, Ionescu I, Costcahe A, Onu A, Liu Clarke J, Stavaru C, Nichita N. Frontiers in Immunology, Jul 22;13:941243,  IF 8.78




1) The 49th Conference of the Romanian Society for Immunology &The 4th Conference of the Romanian Association for Immuno-Dermatology. 30.09-3.10.2020 Videoconference:


AM Pantazică*, OM Dobrică*, C Scurtu, N Nichita. "Production and characterization of novel HBV chimeric antigens". *Authors with equal contribution to this work.


LM Cucoș, TA Șulea, L.Spiridon, N Nichita, CI Popescu. “HCV Envelope Protein E2 Antigen Design and Characterization for Vaccine Development”


2) The annual conference of scientific research in the Romanian Academy. 23.11.2021


Nichita N, “The HCV E2 glycoprotein produced in Nicotiana benthamiana induces humoral immune response with virus-neutralizing activity in mice” (oral presentation).


3) The Annual Symposium of the INCDMM “Cantacuzino” Institute. 25.11.2021


Nichita N, “Production of novel vaccine antigens derived from the Human Hepatitis B Virus” (Key lecture)


4) Annual Symposium of the Protein Society (USA), July 7-14, 2021


Pantazică A-M, Dobrică MO, Scurtu C, Nichita N, “Production and Characterization of Novel HBV Chimeric Antigens”, (poster presentation)


Cucos L-M, Sulea T, Caras I, Spiridon L, Stavaru C, Nichita N, Popescu CI, “Hepatitis C Virus envelope protein E2 based antigen design and characterization for vaccine development”, (poster presentation)




MO Dobrica, L. Paruch, D. Alonzi, N. Zitzmann, CI Popescu, J. Dubuison, J. Liu-Clarke, N. Nichita, “Generation and characterization of HCV-E2 antigen in Nicotiana Benthamiana leaves for vaccine development”, (poster presentation)