Stanford Launches Major Effort to Expedite Vaccine Discovery with $50 Million Grant

Friday, January 30, 2015

Stanford University today announced that it has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate efforts in vaccine development.

The $50 million grant over 10 years will build on existing technology developed at Stanford and housed in the Human Immune Monitoring Core, and will establish the Stanford Human Systems Immunology Center. The center aims to better understand how the immune system can be harnessed to develop vaccines for the world’s most deadly infectious diseases.

While illnesses like polio and measles are now readily preventable, scientists have been stymied in their efforts to fight diseases such as HIV and malaria. In part, this is because large-scale clinical trials can cost hundreds of millions of dollars and can take up to 10 years to determine the success — or often failure — of a vaccine candidate.

The work funded through the new center will enable researchers in diverse fields of study at Stanford and other institutions to use advanced immunological tools to understand how vaccines protect and to help prioritize the most promising vaccines for clinical trials. The center will be led by Mark Davis, PhD, of Stanford’s School of Medicine, and will also involve faculty in the School of Engineering. Their effort furthers the university’s commitment to addressing global problems through novel, interdisciplinary collaborations.

“Effective vaccines are urgently needed to prevent disease and save lives,” said John Hennessy, PhD, president of Stanford University. “This grant will allow Stanford to leverage advances in technology and accelerate progress in this important area.”

The Stanford Human Systems Immunology Center will draw upon a repertoire of technologies, many of which have been pioneered at Stanford, to provide a detailed profile of the human immune response. Seed grants will be made available to Stanford faculty, as well as investigators from other institutions, in order to fuel innovations in immunology and vaccine-related efforts.

Source: Stanford Medicine (link opens in a new window)

Education, Health Care
research, vaccines