Director's Comments

Alan DT Barrett, PhDAlan DT 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 has three primary goals for Fiscal Year 2016:

  • 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 the University of Texas Medical Branch (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 a Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs.
  • Continued to be awarded funds to develop new animal models for testing vaccines and drugs under the multi-investigator, cross departmental National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)-sponsored Animal Models of Infectious Diseases (AMoID) contract.
  • 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 NIAID.
  • Developed a new medical minimester course titled, "Vaccine Development & Beyond" to add to a growing number of vaccinology courses taught by SCVD faculty.
  • Undertook a greater number of clinical trials as performed in previous years 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.