Director's Comments

Alan DT Barrett
Alan Barrett, PhD

Vaccination has proven to be the most effective global strategy for prevention of infectious diseases. Vaccinology, the rapidly evolving science of vaccines, holds great promise in making major contributions to the further improvement of human health. By facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations in the areas of research, development, policy, and education, the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (SCVD) has become one of the most comprehensive vaccine centers in the United States. As such, we provide academic leadership for the research, development and use of vaccines in our efforts to promote health and well-being.

The SCVD had three primary goals for Fiscal Year 2010:

  • Continue education efforts on vaccine safety and vaccine development
  • Strengthen our clinical research and product development activities
  • To both lead and facilitate collaborative efforts among UTMB departments, programs, and centers with other research universities and with industry and federal entities

The SCVD took a number of steps this year to advance toward these goals. Among them, we:

  • Recruited an Assistant Director for SCVD and facilitated the recruitment of three new BSL-4 faculty members, and a Director, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs.
  • Coordinated submission of a multi-investigator, cross departmental National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored Animal Models of Infectious Diseases (AMoID) contract application to NIAID, following which we were awarded funds to develop new animal models for testing vaccine and drugs.
  • Staged our 3rd "Changing Landscape of Vaccine Development" symposium entitled "Vaccines for Biothreats and Emerging and Infectious Diseases", which had an estimated 300 attendees who heard 27 talks and saw 34 posters presentations.
  • Fostered collaborations between UTMB and vaccine pharmaceutical and biotech companies and continued coordination of our In Vitro and Animal Models for Emerging Diseases and Biodefense contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
  • Developed a new graduate-level course titled, "Vaccine Development Pathway: From Discovery to Licensure" to add to a growing number of vaccinology courses taught by SCVD faculty.
  • Undertook twice the number of clinical trials as performed in previous fiscal year and initiated multiple new clinical trial studies in collaboration with a wide variety of pharmaceutical companies.
  • Continued leadership and operation support for National Network for immunization information.