Note: If we plan to eliminate hepatitis C it is critical that we develop and implement an effective vaccine. It’s the only way that we can effectively see our way clear to eliminate it worldwide. Alan for www.hcvadvocate.org
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a University System of Maryland institute a $6 million grant to develop a vaccine for the hepatitis C virus.
The Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research will conduct the grant-funded research over a five-year period. The institute is a joint research enterprise between the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The project was initially seeded with funds from the “MPowering the State” initiative, a partnership between the University of Maryland, College Park and Baltimore campuses designed to expand research collaborations and promote joint innovation.The lead principal investigator on project is Thomas Fuerst, the institute’s director and head of its Structure-based Vaccine Design team.
The team includes experts in vaccinology, biology, chemistry and engineering from the Baltimore and College Park campuses. The team will also work with Dr. Steven Foung from the Stanford University School of Medicine to study immune responses of its vaccine candidates in animals to determine which ones will protect against the majority of the virus’s strains. The goal is to research and develop a hepatitis C virus vaccine that can ultimately be commercially developed for clinical use.