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Carnahan named associate director of Vaccine Center

Feb. 6, 2020, 12:40 PM


by Bill Snyder

Robert Carnahan, PhD, associate professor of Pediatrics and Radiology and Radiological Sciences, has been appointed associate director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center.

Robert Carnahan, PhD

“We are thrilled that Dr. Carnahan, who is an accomplished antibody scientist, has taken over this important leadership position in our rapidly expanding research center,” said center director James Crowe Jr., MD.

“He already has an exceptional track record in creative deployment of strategic organization principles that should enable our team to go the next level of performance,” said Crowe, who is the Ann Scott Carell Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology.

Carnahan earned his PhD in Cell Biology at Vanderbilt in 2003 and joined the faculty in 2007.

As director of the Vanderbilt Antibody and Protein Resource, he guided a technology expansion that enabled a wide array of molecular approaches including antibody and recombinant protein engineering, diagnostic and assay development and biologics cell line development.

Last year Carnahan led a multi-institutional team in the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center that developed, in just 11 weeks, a protective antibody-based treatment which potentially will stop the spread of the Zika virus.

The successful “sprint” was part of the Pandemic Protection Platform program launched in 2018 by the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. The goal is to prepare and deploy protective antibody treatments to squelch dangerous viral outbreaks threatening public health and national security.

“I am truly honored to step into this role within the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center,” Carnahan said. “It has been a privilege to work with this incredibly hard-working and high-performing group.  I could not be prouder of the work we have already done.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work alongside this fantastic group and to further our pursuit of transforming human health through next generation antibody science,” he said.

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