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URI awarded $13 million grant to develop vaccines for emerging infectious diseases
Date:7/28/2009

diseases such as Heptatitis C, Helicobacter pylori and engineered biowarfare/bioterror agents. Mather will direct a project on the development of a vaccine against a range of tick borne diseases.

"This grant will fund translational research for the development of human vaccines, thus all of the work to be performed under TRIAD funding is directed at moving vaccine products towards the clinic," De Groot explained. "The unique area of focus will be what are called immunome-derived vaccines. Compared to traditional vaccines, immunome-derived vaccines have the potential to be safer and more effective since they focus the protective immune response on the most essential antigenic elements of the pathogenic bacteria or virus, while eliminating potentially cross-reactive and deleterious or simply inert components, reducing the potential for adverse outcomes."

The funding will also support a training course and pilot grants for researchers interested in using new vaccine design tools developed by De Groot and Martin. The first training session will take place Aug. 24-26 at the URI Providence Biotechnology Center.

In addition, the grant will allow De Groot to hire eight new staff members for the Institute for Immunology and Informatics, and it will also result in new hires at affiliated research centers. The research being conducted at the Institute is expected to make it a magnet for attracting translational immunology researchers from around the world.

Peter Alfonso, URI vice president for research and economic development, said: "Dr. De Groot's research has regional and national importance not only because it will lead to a significant reduction in the time and cost to create new vaccines against a host of emerging infection diseases such as Lyme disease, which is rampant in Rhode Island, but also because it makes considerable contribution to Rhode Island's economic development efforts in two important ways; first, through th
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Contact: Todd McLeish
tmcleish@uri.edu
401-874-7892
University of Rhode Island
Source:Eurekalert

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