The Emory Vaccine Center was founded in 1996 to develop vaccines against chronic and infectious diseases. With 35 scientists plus over two-hundred graduate students and research staff, Emory's vaccine center is one of the largest, most comprehensive, and most successful in the world. From the beginning, developing an AIDS vaccine has been our top priority. In addition, our scientists are working on vaccines for influenza, hepatitis C, malaria, tuberculosis, and others. Recent discoveries are even opening the door to new vaccines against cancer, autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, and neurological disorders like Alzheimer's.
The Emory Vaccine Center- one of the world's largest, most successful academic vaccine centers- is at the forefront of a vaccine revolution.
For years, vaccines meant prevention of infectious diseases, and their successes were nothing short of miraculous. Vaccines eradicated smallpox and virtually destroyed polio; they increasingly control measles, the largest vaccine-preventable killer of children, and many other diseases. Vaccines remain the single most powerful, health-conserving, cost-effective weapon against infectious diseases in the history of medicine.
But major challenges remain. The world desperately needs a protective vaccine against AIDS, as well as treatment vaccines for a host of serious diseases. Today's vaccine research promises to deliver. We are making extraordinary advances in our understanding of the immune system and in the development of innovative vaccine candidates:
The Emory Vaccine Center's work spans the full continuum of vaccine research, from basic science to clinical trials to the patient's bedside. We like to describe ourselves as the place where science meets hope. Never before has this phrase-like the Emory Vaccine Center itself-had more power behind it. We welcome your interest.
HEPATITIS C. Our understanding of why the immune system fails to control chronic infections has attracted a $12.5 million grant from the Gates Foundation to develop an effective, low-cost treatment for hepatitis C, which affects 170 million people worldwide. An easily distributed, simply administered vaccine therapy would bring healing to developing countries.
CANCER AND OTHER CHRONIC DISEASES. Breakthrough Emory research in cell exhaustion is expected to found a whole new class of treatment vaccines. After battling cancer or a chronic infection for a long time, the body's immune system becomes exhausted and stops working. New vaccine therapies may reinvigorate the immune system to conquer tumors and infections.
MALARIA. The Emory Vaccine Center's extensive malaria research program has made major headway into the basic understanding of malaria, discovered a series of vaccine candidates, and become a leading advocate in fighting this global health threat, which kills millions of people each year.
HERPES. The family of herpes viruses, including Epstein-Barr and Cytomegalovirus (CMV), can lead to cancer and other major health problems for people with weakened immune systems. Emory researchers strive to understand how these viruses work and develop vaccines to treat and even prevent them.
INFLUENZA. With a $32.8 million grant influenza from the National Institutes of Health, Emory is creating a Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance, one of six in the nation. The center will study how flu viruses adapt, how they're transmitted, and how the immune system responds to infection and vaccination.
Building a better vaccine
The Emory Vaccine Center was created in 1996 with support from Emory University and the Georgia Research Alliance. Part of the Emory School of Medicine, the center has dozens of research laboratories devoted to vaccine research. It mobilizes resources from the School of Medicine, the Rollins School of Public Health, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and the Emory Center for AIDS Research.
BASIC SCIENCE: understanding the immune system and how viruses disrupt it. The Emory Vaccine Center is renowned for its expertise in cellular immunity and immune memory, especially how natural immunity might be strengthened. A major focus is determining why and how certain viruses establish chronic, latent infections that defy cure.
VACCINE DEVELOPMENT: creating candidate vaccines that destroy viruses or improve the body's immune response to viruses , parasites , and even cancer cells. Emory is working on new vaccines with great promise to treat and prevent a host of illnesses, including diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
CLINICAL TRIALS: putting candidate vaccines to the ultimate test. The Hope Clinic, the community-based clinical arm of the Emory Vaccine Center, conducts human trials of new vaccines and is a member of the prestigious HIV Vaccine Trials Network of the NIH. Trials include promising AIDS vaccines and vaccines designed to protect, prevent, and treat other infectious diseases. Dr. Mark Mulligan, director of the Hope Clinic, is an internationally recognized leader in human vaccine trials.REACHING ACROSS THE GLOBE: working with global health partners in Asia, Africa, and South America to focus on diseases that disproportionately affect these areas of the world. In a new collaboration, for example, Indian and Emory scientists work to develop vaccines and help move them from the laboratory into production and finally to local health centers in India. The Emory Vaccine Center's new satellite campus in New Delhi is developing an AIDS vaccine designed specifically for the strain of HIV prevalent in India. It will be the first ever developed in India for the people of India.