Chronic Disease Vaccine Initiative

In the lab

Chronic infectious and non-infectious diseases are a major public health issue of the 21st century. In response, UTMB has established an initiative on "Vaccines for Chronic Diseases" that will encompass research at all stages of vaccine development, from basic science and discovery research and preclinical development all the way to clinical trials.

The Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, in alliance with the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, the Center for Addiction Research and the UTMB Cancer Center, is focused on the development of therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines that target chronic infectious and non-infectious diseases.

It has been estimated that by 2025, the number of senior citizens worldwide will double, and since many major diseases in adults are chronic in nature, this poses an increased burden on our healthcare system. Managing or preventing chronic illnesses at the early stages can greatly reduce disease burden.

Among the many targets included in this initiative are chronic infectious diseases caused by bacteria (such as tuberculosis), viruses (such as AIDS), and parasites (such as schistosomiasis), and chronic non-infectious diseases such as cancer, diabetes and other endocrine disorders, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, addiction, neurodegenerative diseases and allergies.

We held a well attended symposium in 2012 titled The Changing Landscape of Vaccine Development: Vaccines for Chronic Diseases. This brought together researchers from a wide variety of specialties to discuss the development of safe and effective vaccines for the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases.