McMaster University

Medical Sciences
Graduate Program

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James B. Mahony

James B. Mahony


BSc, PhD

Research Interests

Dr. Mahony’s research interests focus on the pathophysiology of respiratory pathogens including influenza, SARS and coronaviruses and the obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis.
One of the major focuses of the laboratory is the development of novel antimicrobial agents for both respiratory viruses and Chlamydiae. Most antimicrobial agents are small molecules and interact with a small number of amino acids of the target protein. The laboratory is developing peptide mimetics that will target protein-protein interactive domains (20-30 aa) that should be refractory to the development of antimicrobial resistance. We have developed a novel influenza inhibitor that blocks viral transcription and are presently testing it against a range of influenza H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. We have also developed peptide mimetics which inhibit respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Chlamydia trachomatis.
We have recently developed a novel chlamydial vaccine which uses a trimeric fusion protein as immunogen and have shown that this vaccine when given intranasally to mice blocks replication of C. trachomatis in the lower genital tract by 90% and reduces upper genital tract pathology by 85%. We are exploring combining this new vaccine candidate for C. trachomatis with a Neisseria gonorrhea vaccine candidate to formulate a new combined vaccine for the two most prevalent sexually transmitted infections. This vaccine would be welcomed globally since upper genital tract infections due to CT and GC are a major cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and tubal factor infertility (TFI) and these represent a major cost for cause health care systems around the world.
We are also developing rapid diagnostic tests for the detection of new respiratory pathogens including avian influenza H7N9 and the newly discovered 2019 Coronavirus.


McMaster University
St. Joseph's Healthcare

telephone: 905-521-6021


Program Area

Infection & Immunity


Research Focus

Emerging viral infections, Chlamydia vaccine development, Anti-viral therapeutics, Genetic engineering of commensal bacteria to deliver therapeutic proteins

Selected Publications

Chlamydia pneumonia CopD Translocator Protein Plays a Critical Role in Type III Secretion (T3S) and Infection. Bulir D, Waltho D, Stone C, Mwawasi K, Nelson JC and Mahony J. PLOS One 2014; 9(6) e93313:1-9.

• Molecular Detection of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens – Where Do We Go From Here? Stone CB, Mahony J. Clin. Microbiol 2014; 3:(6) 175. doi:10.4172/2327-5073.1000175

• Immunization with chlamydial type III secretion antigens reduces vaginal shedding and prevents fallopian tube pathology following live C. muridarum challenge. Bulir DC, Liang S, Lee A, Chong S, Simms E, Stone C, Kaushic C, Ashkar A, Mahony JB. Vaccine 2016; 34:3979-3985.

• Design of improved anti-influenza peptide mimetics using in silico molecular modeling. Mwawasi K, Bulir DC, Sugiman-Manrangos SN, Junop MS, Stone C, and Mahony JB. Archives of Infectious Diseases & Therapy 2017; 1(1): 1-8.

• Considerations for the Rational Design of a Chlamydia Vaccine. Liang S, Bulir D, Kaushic C, Mahony J. Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics 2017; 13(4):831-835.

• Point-of-care (POC) tests for infectious diseases – the next generation! Stone C. and Mahony J. Annals of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology 2018; 3(1): 1025.

• Intranasal Vaccination with Fusion Antigen BD584 Confers Protection Against Chlamydia trachomatis Genital Tract Infection and Associated Long-Term Pathological Changes. Liang S, Bulir DC, Brar K, Mahony JB [submitted to Vaccine, 2019].