Accelerating the development of new vaccines to prevent infections from devastating human pathogens.
The ultimate goal of global health research is the prevention of human disease
The invention of vaccines has been one of the most impactful discoveries to improve human health, including being responsible for the eradication of one of the world’s most severe diseases – smallpox. Vaccines offer protection against many human pathogens, but it is increasingly recognized that past strategies have limited efficacy against rapidly mutating pathogens such as HIV, malaria and influenza.
Scientists at Scripps Research have pioneered a way to develop the next generation of vaccines. ‘Rational vaccine design’ seeks to discover immunogens and immunization strategies that induce both antibody and cellular immune responses that are able to protect against the diverse human pathogens that have proven hardest to develop vaccines for. At the Scripps Consortium for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development, scientists have used rational design to develop promising vaccine candidates for HIV by coaxing the immune system into producing broadly neutralizing antibodies needed to fight the huge diversity of HIV strains.
We've reached a watershed moment in the field of immunology, where decades of research are now coming to fruition in experimental vaccines and drugs. If these strategies prove effective in humans, they will represent a leap forward in our ability to manage and prevent the spread of infectious disease.Dennis Burton, PhDCo-chair, Department of Immunology and Microbiology