David Beasley, PhD

Dr. Beasley's research currently focuses on the molecular basis of virulence and antigenic variations between strains of West Nile virus. His lab's wider research activities include studies related to the development of improved diagnostic and therapeutic reagents and vaccines for flaviviruses and other arboviruses. Dr. Beasley is Co-Director of the Keiller/GNL BSL3 laboratories, Director of the GNL Regulatory Services Core, and directs research activities associated with an NIH-sponsored animal models contract to undertake GLP compliant animal and in vitro studies.

SCVD Faculty »


If you are interested in learning about clinical trials, we can advise you about what studies are ongoing and explain the clinical trial process in detail to guide you toward making an informed decision. Contact the Clinical Trials Group at scvd.ctg@utmb.edu. Clinical Trials on Facebook


Located on historic Galveston Island, Texas, the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (SCVD) was inaugurated in December 2001. With 80+ faculty members from twelve School of Medicine Departments, the center incorporates the expertise of more than 100 cutting-edge research programs currently at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). The faculty and staff of the SCVD strive to create, perfect and promote the most effective and safest disease prevention strategies. In this endeavor, the center carries on the proud tradition of medical research and discovery that has been a hallmark of UTMB since its beginning.

The center fosters the highest quality collaborative and programmatic research and facilitates the translation of laboratory findings to prevention of infectious diseases in the community.

A few examples of diseases, conditions and pathogens for which vaccine research and development are being conducted include:

Infectious Diseases

  • arthropod-borne diseases (including Chikungunya, dengue, rickettsia and West Nile)
  • biodefense and emerging viruses and bacteria (Nipah, Hendra, Junin, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and plague (Yersinia pestis))
  • enteric bacteria (such as H. pylori and E. coli)
  • hemorrhagic fevers (such as Argentine hemorrhagic fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, Ebola, Marburg and Rift Valley fever)
  • parasitic diseases (malaria, cutaneous and visceral leishmaniases and Trypanosoma cruzi)
  • respiratory diseases (including anthrax, tuberculosis, influenza, SARS & MERS, human metapneumovirus and respiratory syncytial virus)
  • sexually transmitted diseases and infections (including genital herpes, urogenital pathogenic Escherichia coli urinary tract infections and human papillomavirus)
  • vaccine-preventable diseases (Yellow Fever, Japanese encephalitis virus and Rabies)

Noninfectious Diseases and Conditions

  • addiction conditions (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, methamphetamine and MDMA ("ecstacy"))
  • cancer (breast, head & neck, melanoma and prostate)
  • neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Disease, Dementia resulting from Traumatic Brain Injury and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease))

In addition, our clinical trials group undertakes a variety of phase I, phase II and phase III studies in populations from neonates to senior citizens.

Furthermore, members of the center also examine influences on vaccine acceptance and uptake, and address issues relevant to the development of public policies governing health care. In addition, the center facilitates education and training in vaccinology for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and physicians.