Ebenezer Tumban

Ebenezer Tumban


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  • Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
  • PhD, Molecular Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
  • MS, Biology, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM
  • BS, Biochemistry, University of Buea


Dr. Tumban is a trained molecular virologist and vaccinologist; in the past, he conducted research studies aimed at understanding the molecular determinants of arboviruses (such as dengue and Langat viruses) mode of transmission. He also researched and developed antigens that could be used to develop immunodiagnostic kits for diagnosing infectious agents.

Most recently, Dr. Tumban’s research has been focused on the development of next-generation vaccines against human papillomaviruses (HPVs)—the causative agents of some human cancers (cervical and anogenital cancers). He is exploring strategies to increase immune responses against HPV infections, using platforms such as bacteriophage virus-like particles (VLPs). Dr. Tumban has observed that the display site of an HPV L2 epitope on a bacteriophage VLP platform can affect the magnitude of immune responses to the epitope as well as the breath of protection against HPV infection. He demonstrated that the display of a highly conserved single epitope from HPV L2 protein, on one of the surface-exposed loops of a bacteriophage VLP, induces antibodies that are highly cross-protective against diverse HPV types. Dr. Tumban is a co-inventor of a L2 bacteriophage VLP, which has been licensed to Agilvax Biotech. He is collaborating with research labs at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center as well as a research lab at the National Cancer Institute at the NIH. For more information on Dr. Tumban’s current projects, please visit The Tumban Lab website.

Research Interests

  • Infectious diseases, human papillomaviruses
  • Virus-like particles, prophylactic & therapeutic vaccines
  • Vaccine formulations
  • Peptide mimotopes discovery

Selected Publications

  • Link to PubMed
  • Basu R., Zhai L., Contreras A., and Tumban E. (2018). Immunization with Phage Virus-like Particles Displaying Zika Virus B-cell Epitopes Neutralizes Zika Virus Infection of Monkey Kidney Cells. Vaccine, In Press.
  • Zhai L., Peabody J., Pang YS., Schiller J., Chackerian B., and Tumban E. (2017). A novel candidate MS2 phage VLP vaccine displaying a tandem HPV L2 peptide offers similar protection in mice to Gardasil-9. Antiviral Research 147:116-123.
  • Peabody J., Muttil P., Chackerian B., and Tumban E. (2017). Characterization of a spray-dried candidate HPV L2-VLP vaccine stored for multiple years at room temperature. Papillomavirus Research 3:116-120.
  • Basu R., Tumban E. (2016). Zika Virus on a Spreading Spree: what we now know that was unknown in the 1950s. BMC Virology Journal 13(165):1-9
  • Zhai L. and Tumban E. (2016). Gardasil-9: A global survey of projected efficacy. Antiviral Research 130:101-109
  • Saboo S., Tumban E., Peabody J., Wafula D., Peabody D., Chackerian B., and Muttil P. (2016). Optimized Formulation of a Thermostable Spray-Dried Virus-Like Particle Vaccine against Human Papillomavirus. Molecular Pharmaceutics [Epub ahead of print]
  • Tumban E., Muttil P., Escobar C., Peabody J., Wafula D., Peabody D., and Chackerian B. (2015). Preclinical refinements of a broadly protective VLP-based HPV vaccine targeting the minor capsid protein, L2. Vaccine 33(29):3346-53.
  • Tyler M., Tumban E., Dziduszko A., Ozbun M., Peabody D., and Chackerian B. (2014). Immunization with a consensus epitope from human papillomavirus L2 induces antibodies that are broadly neutralizing. Vaccine 32(34):4267-74.
  • Tyler M., Tumban E., Peabody D., and Chackerian B. (2014). The use of hybrid virus-like particles to enhance the immunogenicity of a broadly protective HPV vaccine. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 111(12):2398-406.
  • Tyler M., Tumban E., Chackerian B. (2013). Second-generation prophylactic HPV vaccines: successes and challenges. Expert Review of Vaccines 13(2):247-55.
  • Tumban E., Peabody J., Peabody D., and Chackerian B. (2013). A Universal Virus-Like Particle-based Vaccine for Human Papillomavirus: Longevity of Protection and Role of Endogenous and Exogenous Adjuvants. Vaccine 31(41):4647-54.
  • Tumban E., Maes N., Schirtzinger E., Young K., Hanson C., Whitehead S., and Hanley K. (2013). Replacement of conserved or variable sequences of the mosquito-borne dengue virus 3′ untranslated region with homologous sequences from Modoc virus does not change infectivity for mosquitoes. Journal of General Virology 94(4):783-8.
  • Tumban E., Peabody J., Tyler M., Peabody D., and Chackerian B. (2012). VLPs Displaying a Single L2 epitope Induce Broadly Cross-neutralizing Antibodies Against Human Papillomavirus. PLoS One 7(11).
  • Tumban E., Peabody J, Peabody D. and Chackerian B. (2011). A pan-HPV vaccine based on bacteriophage PP7 VLPs displaying broadly cross-neutralizing epitopes from the HPV minor capsid protein, L2. PLoS One 6(8).
  • Hunter Z, Tumban E., Dziduszko A., and Chackerian B. (2011). Aerosol delivery of Virus-like particles to the genital tract induces local and systemic antibody responses. Vaccine 29(28):4584-92.
  • Tumban E., Maes N., Mitzel D., Hanson C., Whitehead S., and Hanley K. (2011). Replacement of the 3’ untranslated variable region of the mosquito-borne dengue virus with that of tick-borne Langat virus does not alter vector specificity. Journal of of General Virology 92(4):841-8.
  • Romero T., Tumban E., Jun J., Lott W., and Hanley K. A. (2006). Secondary structure of dengue virus type 4 3' untranslated region: impact of deletion and substitution mutations. Journal of General Virology 87(11):3291-6.