James Kovacs, PhD

James Kovacs

James Kovacs, PhD

Assistant Professor
Chemistry & Biochemistry
CENT 228

Research Interests

The complement system of the immune system is a tightly regulated series of protein-protein interactions resulting in an immediate and lasting immune response regulated in part through complement receptor 2. The Kovacs laboratory focuses on complement receptor 2, and its role in cellular interactions important for a normal immune response and its involvement in viral infection and viral life cycles. Long term goals of the laboratory are to merge biochemical, biophysical and structural studies to create potential novel therapeutics and vaccines


  • B.A., Goshen College, 2002
  • M.Sc., University of Colorado Denver, 2005
  • Ph.D., University of Colorado School of Medicine, 2010


Chen, J, Kovacs, JM, Peng, H, Rits-Volloch, S, Lu, J, Park, D, Zablowsky, E, Seaman, MS, Chen, B. (2015) HIV-1 ENVELOPE. Effect of the cytoplasmic domain on antigenic characteristics of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. Science, 349(6244):191-5

Bricault, CA, Kovacs, JM, Nkolola, JP, Yusim, K, Shields, JL, Perry, J, Lavine, CL, Cheung, A, Stamatatos, L, Seaman, MS, Korber, BT, Chen, B, Barouch, DH. A Multivalent Clade C HIV-1 Env Trimer Cocktail Elicits a Greater Magnitude of Neutralizing Antibodies than Any Individual Component. Journal of Virology, 89(5):2507-19

Kovacs, JM, Noeldeke, E, Ha, H, Peng, H, Rits-Volloch, S, Harrison, SC, Chen, B. (2014) Stable Uncleaved HIV-1 Envelope Glycoprotein gp140 forms a Tightly Folded Trimer with a Native-Like Structure. PNAS, 111(52):18542-7

Thurman, JM, Kulik, L, Orth, H, Wong, M, Renner, B, Sargsyan, SA, Mitchell, LM, Hourcade, DE, Hannan, JP, Kovacs, JM, Coughlin, B, Woodell, AS, Pickering, MC, Rohrer, B, Holers, VM. (2013) Detection of complement activation using monoclonal antibodies against C3d. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 123, 2218-30 \

Kovacs, JM, Nkolola, JP, Peng, H, Cheung, A, Perry, J, Miller, CA, Seaman, MS, Barouch, DH, Chen, B. (2012) HIV-1 Envelope Trimer Elicits Higher Neutralizing Antibody Responses Than Monomeric gp120. PNAS, 109, 12111-6