NYBC’s Laboratory of Viral Immunology has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to develop a mucosal universal influenza vaccine. Lanying Du., Ph.D., Co-head of the laboratory, was awarded more than $400,000 for this program.
The Laboratory of Viral Immunology at NYBC has previous experience in developing universal influenza vaccines. The NIH grant will support further development of a safe and effective mucosal universal influenza vaccine against emerging or re-emerging influenza A viruses using a bacterial spore as a vaccine delivery system.
“Influenza A viruses, particularly the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus and the newly emerging, highly virulent avian-origin H7N9, continue to pose serious threats to public health and the global economy due to their pandemic potential,” said Dr. Du. “Safe and effective universal vaccines are urgently needed.”
Separately, Dr. Shibo Jiang, who has published extensively on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, has been awarded a subcontract on a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award to his research on development of therapeutics for treatment of MERS. Dr. Jiang has authored and coauthored more than 40 peer-reviewed papers related to SARS and MERS studies. His team was the first group in the world to identify the peptidic fusion inhibitors of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, and to demonstrate that the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of coronavirus is an important target for developing SARS and MERS vaccines.