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Vaccine Program receives NIH renewal of VTEU

Jan. 23, 2020, 10:43 AM


by Bill Snyder

The Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program (VVRP) has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue its work as one of the nation’s nine Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs).

The VTEUs will contribute to a new federal effort to bolster clinical trial research and the readiness to respond to emerging diseases.

“We are thrilled to continue our work as an NIH-funded vaccine and treatment evaluation unit,” said VVRP Director C. Buddy Creech, M.D., MPH, principal investigator of the Vanderbilt VTEU and associate professor of Pediatrics.

“Vanderbilt has a rich tradition of vaccine discovery, evaluation, and implementation and we look forward to leveraging the remarkable research enterprise at Vanderbilt to advance vaccine science in the United States and around the world,” Creech said.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH, recently announced the establishment of the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium, a clinical trials network and leadership group that will prioritize and execute infectious diseases research across a range of pathogens.

The NIAID intends to provide approximately $29 million per year over the next seven years to support the VTEUs and Leadership Group.

Established in the 1970s under the direction of Peter Wright, MD, and continuing under Kathryn Edwards, MD, Sarah H. Sell and Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Pediatrics, the Vanderbilt VTEU is recognized internationally for its work on vaccines against serious childhood infections including influenza, pertussis, respiratory syncytial virus, Haemophilus influenzae and rotavirus.

The VTEU has participated in multiple international responses to influenza. It helped evaluate new vaccines during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and during potential avian pandemics in 2013 and 2017.

In recent years, the Vanderbilt VTEU has pioneered new approaches to evaluate new vaccines, particularly in the area of systems vaccinology, where next-generation sequencing tools are used to characterize the human response to immunization.

It also has served as the training ground for investigators who gain experience in clinical trials, vaccine science and immunology.

The other VTEUs are based at Baylor College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Emory University, St. Louis University, the University of Maryland, University of Rochester, University of Washington and the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.

The NIAID Vanderbilt Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit Cooperative Agreement Grant Number is 1UM1AI148452-01.


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