Navigation Links
UT Southwestern researcher awarded Gates Foundation grant for novel vaccine development
Date:10/22/2008

DALLAS Oct. 22, 2008 The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that it has awarded a UT Southwestern Medical Center scientist a grant to pursue innovative vaccine research.

The $100,000 grant to Dr. Ellen Vitetta, director of the Cancer Immunobiology Center at UT Southwestern, is one of 104 grants awarded in the first funding round of the Grand Challenges Explorations program, a $100 million, five-year initiative to promote innovation in global health. Additional funding of $1 million or more will be available for projects that show promise, according to the Gates Foundation.

Dr. Vitetta's work will focus on a new approach to developing "mimetic vaccines," which would be based on using synthetic molecules called peptoids to generate a protective immune response to a given pathogen. Dr. Thomas Kodadek, professor of internal medicine and an expert in peptoid chemistry, is a collaborator on the project.

Currently, vaccines are developed using dead or attenuated microbes, or bits and pieces of the infectious agent itself, as a basis for stimulating the human immune system to produce antibodies, or infection-fighting agents, against the disease. Dr. Vitetta's research group will screen thousands of peptoids for their ability to bind to pre-made monoclonal antibodies that are already known to neutralize all varieties of a given pathogen. For example, the researchers will look for peptoids that bind to antibodies that recognize structural features shared by all HIV strains.

"The key advantage to using peptoids to develop mimetic vaccines is that these vaccines would not be limited in their effectiveness to a particular strain or subspecies of a given virus, but rather recognize all viruses of each type. Furthermore huge libraries of peptoids can be made and screened," said Dr. Vitetta, who holds the Scheryle Simmons Patigian Distinguished Chair in Cancer Immunobiology.

Once promising peptoids are identified, they will be attached to "carriers" and tested in mice to determine whether they can actually elicit antibodies that neutralize the pathogen. Dr. Vitetta said the challenge and novelty of this approach is to demonstrate that these anti-peptoid antibodies can mimic those the body produces against the actual native pathogen and confer protective immunity.

"This is high-risk, high-impact research, meaning that there is a high risk of failure," Dr. Vitetta said. "But if our experiments are successful, we hope to identify peptoid mimetics that recognize all variants of HIV, and if we are extremely lucky, we will have a useful vaccine for HIV, which will have tremendous impact. Our work could also open the door for vaccines against other pathogens, such as West Nile virus, hepatitis C and influenza. Even if we fail entirely, we will gain a great deal of insight into what we need to do to make mimetic vaccines work."


'/>"/>

Contact: Amanda Siegfried
amanda.siegfried@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. RSV may hide in the lungs, lead to asthma, UT Southwestern researchers report
2. Waste from gut bacteria helps host control weight, UT Southwestern researchers report
3. Antidepressants need new nerve cells to be effective, UT Southwestern researchers find
4. Limiting fructose may boost weight loss, UT Southwestern researcher reports
5. UT Southwestern researchers identify new targets for RNAs that regulate genes
6. UT Southwestern researchers create molecule that nudges nerve stem cells to mature
7. Geology and biology meet in the history of US southwestern desert surface waters
8. Mouse model developed at UT Southwestern mimics hyperglycemia, aids in diabetes research
9. Gene mutations in mice mimic human-like sleep disorder, UT Southwestern researchers find
10. UT Southwesterns Mangelsdorf elected to National Academy of Sciences
11. NIH awards $6.5 million grant to UT Southwestern to develop new antibiotic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/16/2016)... 2016 The global ... reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according to ... Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial buildings, ... drive the market growth.      (Logo: ... development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric authentication ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and ... business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ ... project. This collaboration will result in greater convenience ... credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow and ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, ... Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  The latest ... comprehensive analysis of the global Border Security market ... of $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In ... in software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced ... this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., ... the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Andrew D Zelenetz , ... Published recently in Oncology & ... Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the fact ... placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, ... the patents on many biologics expiring, interest in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: