Chronic infectious and non-infectious diseases are a major public health issue of the 21st century. In response, the University of Texas Medical Branch (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.
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. A selection of SCVD faculty working on vaccines for chronic diseases include:
The Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (SCVD), in alliance with the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, and the Center for Addiction Research, 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.
In 2012, the SCVD hosted a symposium, The Changing Landscape of Vaccine Development:Vaccines for Chronic Diseases. The SCVD supports trainees in the area of vaccines for chronic disease by providing fellowships and travel awards (fellowships). A seminar series for the studies of vaccines for chonric diseases is also supported. We are also invovled in recruiting new faculty members to support this initiative.