(Image credit: Stanford University) (Image credit: Stanford University)

Stanford launches major effort to expedite vaccine discovery with $50 million grant


Stanford University today announced that it has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate efforts in vaccine development. The $50 million grant over 10 years will build on existing technology developed at Stanford and housed in the Human Immune Monitoring Core, and will establish the Stanford Human Systems Immunology Center. The center aims to better understand how the immune system can be harnessed to develop vaccines for the world's most deadly infectious diseases.

The work funded through the new center will enable researchers in diverse fields of study at Stanford and other institutions to use advanced immunological tools to understand how vaccines protect and to help prioritize the most promising vaccines for clinical trials. The center will be led by Mark Davis of Stanford’s School of Medicine and will also involve faculty in the School of Engineering. Their effort furthers the university’s commitment to addressing global problems through novel, interdisciplinary collaborations.

“Effective vaccines are urgently needed to prevent disease and save lives,” said John L. Hennessy, president of Stanford University. “This grant will allow Stanford to leverage advances in technology and accelerate progress in this important area.”

Visible Legacy Comment

According to the article, "Stanford has a long track record in immunology. In 1970, the late Professor Len Herzenberg invented the fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS), a revolutionary technique that is now a mainstay in labs around the world. In the last decade, Stanford scientists have developed or refined a host of other sophisticated tools that are transforming the ability to understand immune responses in humans at a deep level. These include technologies that can rapidly analyze individual cells and tools that can provide a detailed portrait of the human immune system, with all of its many components." Visible Legacy would recommend that Tech Scouts keep an eye on the ecosystem around this grant, as shown in the map below.