The SCVD sponsors a number of pre- and postdoctoral fellowships and travel award support for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. In 2013, a graduate student (Ronald Veselenak, mentored by Dr. Nigel Bourne) was awarded the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development award at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) award luncheon. This award recognizes excellence in research in the field of vaccine development and is given to a UTMB graduate student who has made a significant contribution to Vaccinology-related projects consistent with the mission statement of the center.

SCVD is proud to support our current predoctoral fellows:


Charles “Brent” Chesson
Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine Graduate program
Third Year
Mentor: Jai Rudra, PhD
Project Title:  Enhanced CD8+ CTL Responses from Self-Adjuvanting Peptide Nanofibers

John “Tyler” Manning
Experimental Pathology Graduate Program
Second Year
Mentor: Slobodan Paessler, DVM, PhD
Project Title:  Expression Plasmid-Driven rescue of rML29 Virus Clones and Genotypic and Phenotypic Comparison of rML29 to the Lassa Virus Vaccine Candidate ML29

Bethany Tiner
Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Program
Second Year
Mentor: Ashok Chopra, PhD, CSc
Project Title:  Construction and testing of a novel live-attenuated vaccine for Yersinia pestis deleted for three virulence determinants: Unlinking the virulence and immunogenic domains for one of the antigens to retain full immunogenicity of the vaccine

Jingya Xia
Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Program
Fourth Year
Mentor: Gregg Milligan, PhD
Project Title:  Understanding the relationship between PRR signaling and the development of adaptive immune responses

Guorui Xie
Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Program
Fourth Year
Mentor: Tian Wang, PhD
Project Title:  MyD88-dependent signaling pathways in protective immunity against an attenuated West Nile virus infection