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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University November 10, 2003 | Vol. 33 No. 11
SPH Receives $1.6 Million to Expand Vaccine Development and Research

The School of Public Health will expand its vaccine development and research efforts with grants from BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.) totaling $1.6 million in financial and other support. The grants will be used to establish the BD Immune Function Laboratory and the Vaccine Evaluation Unit, a research collaboration to evaluate BD devices for delivery of new vaccines.

The laboratory will be a state-of-the-art facility for evaluation of the immune responses to infectious diseases and experimental vaccines. Currently, investigators at the School of Public Health are working on new vaccines for malaria, HIV, measles, dengue and other important infectious agents. The grant will provide the equipment and reagents needed for evaluation of the responses of lymphocytes and other immune cells to infections and immunizations. This information will allow more rapid and accurate determination of the quality of immune responses, indicating whether they are likely to protect from infection. BD's financial support also will provide training for staff members.

The Vaccine Evaluation Unit, working with the BD Immune Function Laboratory, will fund a collaboration to test the safety and efficacy of novel ways to deliver vaccines to improve vaccine safety and reduce the transmission of blood-borne diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV.

"Support from BD will enable us to expand our capacity to develop and evaluate new vaccines, which hold the greatest potential for easing some of world's most serious public health problems, such as AIDS and malaria," said Diane Griffin, chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Griffin will oversee the laboratory and Vaccine Evaluation Unit with Joseph Margolick, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology, and Donald Burke, director of Disease Prevention and Control in the Department of International Health.


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