The development of successful vaccinations can be considered among the most important discoveries in medicine. It has caused significant reduction in the occurrence of several major diseases and has virtually eliminated some pathogens such as smallpox. Even with previous developments, there is always the room for improvements.
Although vaccines are highly effective, there are still potential negative consequences in the form of rare but severe side affects for the patient. For example, the original oral polio vaccine, while highly effectively, caused about 10 cases of polio each year. This issue was remedied by "killing" the virus in the vaccine with formaldehyde to prevent infection.
Mark Slifka, Ph.D., (image courtesy of OHSU) working through the OHSU's Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), recently made significant advances in vaccine science. He developed a technique which uses hydrogen peroxide to "kill" viruses while still preserving their integrity for use in vaccines.
This OHSU scientific breakthrough is already working to combat Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (which causes hemorrhagic fever in Africa), West Nile virus, and vaccinia virus (previously used in smallpox vaccines). Silfa was pleased with the success of the new technique. He called it "a platform technology....not just a one-hit-wonder" with the potential to create a "entirely new approach to vaccine development."
The OHSU is growing at a rapid pace, and becoming one of the most important centers for research in the world. During the 2010 fiscal year $392 Million in research funding marked a new record for Oregon Health and Science University. $70 Million of the money came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
If you are a laboratory supply vendor or life science researcher in the Portland area, plan on attending Biotechnology Calendar Inc.'s Portland BioResearch Product Faire life science trade show event at OHSU on September 13, 2012. Our trade shows provide an amazing opportunity to network with life science researchers and suppliers and keep up to date on the latest laboratory technologies in your field.
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