Dr. Pinilla has over twenty years of experience and she is recognized as a pioneer in the field of combinatorial chemistry, particularly in the use of positional scanning libraries for the identification of ligands for a wide range of targets. In particular, in immunology she has studied antibody and T cell specificity and these studies have revealed an intricate balance between polyreactivity and specificity. During the last five years, she was the Project Director of the Large Scale T Cell Epitope Discovery program at Torrey Pines lnstitute, in which she led a team of researchers in the identification of vaccinia-specific T cell epitopes from human immunized donors. She was involved in the elucidation of the specificity of T cell clones of clinical relevance in multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease and cancer using positional scanning libraries. These and other studies have involved collaborative projects with multiple investigators at Torrey Pines lnstitute and other institutions in the United States and Europe. Dr. Pinilla has authored and co-authored more than one hundred peer-reviewed publications related to the identification of ligands and characterization of molecular interactions using individual compound analogs and mixture-based libraries.
- 1986: Ph.D. in Microbiology. HSJD, National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia
- 1984: B.S. in Microbiology. Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
- 1997 – present: Adjunct Associate Professor, Biology Department, San Diego State University
- 1996 – present: Associate Member, Head of Immunochemistry Department, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, California
- 1998 – 2004: Chief Technical Officer, Mixture Sciences Inc, San Diego, California
- 1991-1996: Assistant Member, Head of Immunochemistry Department, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, California
- 1989-1991: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, California, under the direction of Dr. Richard A. Houghten
- 1987-1989: Postdoctoral Training, Exchange Visitor, Department of Molecular Biology, Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California, under the direction of Dr. Richard A. Houghten
- 1985 - 1986: Isolation of Coding Clones for Plasmodium falciparum proteins, Department of Genetics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Seidman
Selected Publications (10 of 167)
- Houghten, R.A., Pinilla, C., Blondelle, S.E., Appel, J.R., Dooley, C.T., Cuervo, J.H. Generation and use of synthetic peptide combinatorial libraries for basic research and drug discovery. Nature. 354:84-6, 1991.
- Pinilla, C., Appel, J.R., Blanc, P., Houghten, R.A. Rapid identification of high affinity peptide ligands using positional scanning synthetic peptide combinatorial libraries. BioTechniques. 13:901-5, 1992.
- Hemmer, B., Gran, B., Zhao, Y., Marques, A., Pascal, J., Tzou, A., Kondo, T., Cortese, I., Bielekova, B., Straus, S., McFarland, H. F., Houghten, R. A., Simon, R., Pinilla, C., Martin, R. Identification of candidate T cell epitopes and molecular mimics in chronic Lyme disease. Nature Medicine. 5:1375-82, 1999.
- Sospedra, M., Zhao, Y., zur Hausen, H., Muraro, P., Hamashin, C., de Villiers, E., Pinilla, C., Martin, R. Recognition of conserved amino acid motifs of common viruses and its role in autoimmunity. PloS Pathog. 1:e41, 2005.
- Singh, N., R. Guha, M. A. Giulianotti, C. Pinilla, R. A. Houghten, and J. L. Medina-Franco. 2009. Chemoinformatic analysis of combinatorial libraries, drugs, natural products, and molecular libraries small molecule repository. J Chem Inf. Model. 49:1010.
- Judkowski, V., A. Bunying, F. Ge, J. R. Appel, K. Law, A. Sharma, C. Raja-Gabaglia, P. Norori, R. G. Santos, M. A. Giulianotti, M. K. Slifka, D. C. Douek, B. S. Graham, and C. Pinilla. 2011. GM-CSF Production Allows the Identification of Immunoprevalent Antigens Recognized by Human CD4+ T Cells Following Smallpox Vaccination. PLoS. ONE. 6:e24091.
- Pinilla, C., B. S. Edwards, J. R. Appel, T. Yates-Gibbins, M. A. Giulianotti, J. L. Medina-Franco, S. M. Young, R. G. Santos, L. A. Sklar, and R. A. Houghten. 2013. Selective agonists and antagonists of formylpeptide receptors: duplex flow cytometry and mixture-based positional scanning libraries. Mol. Pharmacol. 84:1.
- Falta, M. T., C. Pinilla, D. G. Mack, A. N. Tinega, F. Crawford, M. Giulianotti, R. Santos, G. M. Clayton, Y. Wang, X. Zhang, L. A. Maier, P. Marrack, J. W. Kappler, and A. P. Fontenot. 2013. Identification of beryllium-dependent peptides recognized by CD4+ T cells in chronic beryllium disease. J Exp. Med. 210:1403.
- Haslach, E., H. Huang, M. L. Dirain, G. Debevec, P. Geer, R. G. Santos, M. A. Giulianotti, C. Pinilla, J. R. Appel, S. R. Doering, M. A. Walters, R. A. Houghten, and C. Haskell-Luevano. 2014. Identification of tetrapeptides from a mixture based positional scanning library that can restore nM full agonist function of the L106P, I69T, I102S, A219V, C271Y, and C271R human melanocortin-4 polymorphic receptors (hMC4Rs).J Med Chem. 57:4615.
- Acevedo, G. R., S. A. Longhi, A. Bunying, N. Sabri, A. Atienza, M. P. Zago, R. Santos, V. A. Judkowski, C. Pinilla, and K. A. Gomez. 2017. Methodological approach to the ex vivo expansion and detection of T. cruzi-specific T cells from chronic Chagas disease patients. PLoS One. 12:e0178380.
Patents (5 of 13)
- Houghten, R. A., Pinilla, C., Lambkin, I., O’Mahony, D., Hamashin, C., Schink, A., and Osthues-Spindler, L. Pharmaceutical formulations and ligands for use therein; mimetics for UEA-1. (7,166,296). 1-23-2007.
- Petrie, C. R., McKernan, P. A., Moore, E. E., Ostresh, J. M., Meyer, J.-P., Houghten, R. A., and Pinilla, C. Dialkyl ureas as calcitonin mimetics. (6,391,917). 5-21-2002.
- Houghten, R. A. and Pinilla, C. Dimeric oligopeptide mixture sets. (6,287,787). 9-11-2001.
- Pinilla, C., Appel, J. R., and Houghten, R. A. Scanning synthetic peptide combinatorial libraries: Oligopeptide mixture sets having one predetermined residue at a single, predetermined position, methods of making and using the same. (5,556,762). 9-17-1996.
- Houghten, R. A., Cuervo, J. H., Pinilla, C., Appel, J. R., and Blondelle, S. E. Equimolar multiple oligomer mixtures, especially oligopeptide mixtures. (5,504,190). 4-2-1996.