Researchers at Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta will soon be testing a vaccine that could protect patients against a strain of bird flu, H7N9 influenza, which caused a illness and death in China last spring. The clinical trial will be sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH.
“This bird flu vaccine trial is extremely important, because humans have not developed any immunity to this newly identified H7N9 virus. By preparing for a potential outbreak through a tested vaccine, we hope to reduce the potentially severe impact of a future pandemic. We also expect to learn more about flu vaccines, how they induce immunity, and the most effective doses in different age groups,” said Mark J. Mulligan, MD, a professor of medicine in the Emory University School of Medicine.
Seven-hundred adults across the country ages 19 to 64 years old will participate in the study. Emory researchers expect about 175 volunteers at the Hope Clinic and the Emory Children’s Center to volunteer. The clinical trials are meant to determine whether the vaccine will be safe and effective in protecting against patient immune responses in the event of an H7N9 outbreak.
“We certainly hope we will never need to deploy an H7N9 bird flu vaccine for a pandemic. But we must prepare for the worst and be ready, while hoping for the best,” Dr. Mulligan said.
Atlanta BioResearch Product Faire™ Event 2013
Emory University conducts a large number of studies that contribute greatly to general scientific knowledge. Part of the reason Emory University is able to conduct so much research is that the school receives a great deal of life science research funding. In total, Emory University was awarded $296.8 million in life science funding by the NIH and NSF in 2012. Emory University received $286.2 million in life science research funding from the NIH in 2012. The best funded department was internal medicine, which received 103 awards totaling $43.8 million. For a full list of NIH-funded departments at Emory University, please visit the NIH website.
In addition to receiving a great deal of life science funding from the NIH, Emory University also received $10.6 million from the NSF in 2012. The life science funding was distributed among a number of life science projects in disciplines such as genetic mechanisms, neural systems, systems and synthetic biology, physiology and structural systems, and cellular dynamics and function.
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