Tuberculosis is the number one cause of death by infectious disease around the world. In 2014, this contagious bacterial infection was responsible for 1.5 million deaths worldwide. Although the disease is treatable and curable, it still persists as a global health problem that scientists continue to study, to develop new and improved treatments.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently granted scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University $3 million to research potential vaccines for tuberculosis. Past research has taught scientists that a type of T cell known as mucosa associated invariant T (MAIT) that is found in the human lung may have the potential to be used for TB vaccines. The Portland research team will study the molecular structure of MAIT cell antigens through T cell biology, mass spectrometry and protein chemistry with the ultimate goal of creating stable antigens that will create an immune response. Through their research, the scientists plan to learn all the characteristics of MAIT cells in both primates and humans, so eventually this information can used for vaccine development.
According to David Lewinsohn, M.D., Ph.D from the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, “Improved TB vaccines will require an understanding of the mechanisms by which T cells recognize other cells infected with Mtb, particularly in the lung. This grant from the Gates Foundation represents a continued commitment toward the eradication of TB. We are excited to be a part of it.”
Researchers from Portland will collaborate with scientists from the University of Chicago; University of Oklahoma, Health Sciences University; Colorado State University; La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology; and Stanford University over the next three years while this grant is active.
Oregon Health and Science University is a leading institution in terms of the amount of funding it receives annually and research it produces. In the 2015 fiscal year, the university received more than $197 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This funding will greatly benefit multiple research projects:
Oregon Health & Science University will receive $6.3 million over five years to fund projects in neuroscience laboratories on campus.
A $3 million award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will aid OHSU research efforts on discovering a viable tuberculosis vaccine.
The NIH awarded OHSU a three year, $1.8 million grant to target research surrounding undiagnosed diseases.
With all this funding, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University have the means to purchase many new lab products that will help with their studies and clinical trials. Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. produces an annual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event in Portland that is a great opportunity to market lab products to active life science researchers at OHSU. This annual event brings active researchers together with scientific supply companies, so that the researchers can find the best and newest products and technologies to further their work.
The 14th Annual BioReserach Product Faire™ Event in Portland will be held on August 18, 2016, where more than 150 life scientists are expected to attend. Last year, 188 researchers came from 18 different research buildings and 39 on-campus departments.
To learn more about participating in this popular event, visit the link below: