Creating a More Resilient Flu Vaccine
Oct 25, 2023 —
There are around a billion cases of seasonal influenza worldwide every year, according to the World Health Organization. As many as 5 million cases are severe, causing up to 650,000 deaths.
Pandemics caused by novel influenza viruses — like the 1918 flu pandemic that killed more than 50 million people — represent an even more serious threat.
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Ravi Kane is leading a multi-university team that has received a five-year, $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to change that and develop a more resilient flu vaccine — one that provides lasting protection from season to season.
The goal is to design a vaccine that provides broad protection against group 1 influenza A viruses — a group that includes the 1918, 1957-1958, and 2009 pandemic viruses —as well as some as some bird flu viruses that can cause disease in humans.
Kane has pioneered approaches for refocusing the immune response to protein antigens and controlling antigen orientation. His ChBE research group designs nanoscale scaffolds for antigen presentation as part of novel strategies for designing vaccines, including flu vaccines.
He explains why flu vaccines vary every year and how he’s working to create a universal influenza vaccine.
By: Jason Maderer (email@example.com)