The development of vaccines is one of the greatest achievements of biomedical sciences and public health. New vaccines, together with inoculation programs, led to a dramatic decline in human cases of measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tuberculosis and the eradication of smallpox during the 20th century. More recently, the use of new technologies has resulted in the licensure of vaccines for human papillomaviruses, dengue and chicken pox. Vaccines and vaccination also have been highly effective for the veterinary field, resulting in enhanced lives of pet animals and improvement in the quality of raising animals for food production, which lowers costs to the consumer. Remarkably, vaccines are also being used in areas of human health not related to infectious diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Despite considerable progress, the vaccine industry continues to face challenges, such as the costs associated with developing new vaccines and maintaining the production, delivery and administration of vaccines to populations around the world. Addressing the threats associated with emerging and re-emerging diseases, such as Zika and Ebola, also provide new challenges for the development and assessment of effective vaccines. The Center for Vaccines and Immunology (CVI) at the University of Georgia facilitates an interdisciplinary One Health approach to educate, research, develop, assess and translate vaccines for the health of people and animals.
The CVI serves to facilitate basic and translational research that addresses the science of vaccines as well as the critical need for new/improved vaccines and associated technologies for both existing and emerging diseases. CVI faculty work closely with industrial, public health and academic partners on the assessment of vaccines in pre-clinical and human clinical trials. These researchers have a primary focus on respiratory pathogens, with a particular emphasis on influenza, but also other respiratory and emerging infectious disease agents. The establishment of the CVI, in 2015, provides a venue for interdisciplinary collaboration as well as research support, mentoring and training for scientists with the common goal of improving health. The partnership of CVI-based faculty with CVI-associated researchers from across the UGA campus yields a deep bench of experts who engage in vaccine-focused research in collaboration with individuals from business, academia and government agencies to create an atmosphere in which students, research scientists and faculty contribute to the development and assessment of new and existing vaccines.
The University of Georgia is uniquely qualified to accommodate a Center for Vaccines and Immunology because it has diverse, world-renowned expertise within the areas of infectious disease, veterinary medicine, ecology and public health. By engaging UGA’s world-class biocontainment research resources and the expertise of scientists from surrounding institutions, CVI investigators can focus on translational studies to test and assess the efficacy of vaccines and immunotherapies in development by industry, governmental and academic institutions.
With its base at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, the CVI is uniquely positioned for translational vaccinology amid an established ecosystem of active research partners, including the Emory Vaccine Center, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast Poultry Research Laboratories, as well as global and local companies, such as Sanofi-Pasteur and Merial Limited. This collaborative network, combined with the support provided to the CVI from the Georgia Research Alliance, facilitates the CVI’s investigators in their quest to explore, invest in and expand the active vaccine translational community for assessment of vaccines. Our partnership with both local and international organizations also strengthens our outreach to established researchers in Puerto Rico, Africa and Southeast Asia, and further enhances the CVI’s ability to be a unique home for translational vaccinology and understanding the science behind vaccines.
If you are interested in joining our team, collaborating with our faculty or utilizing our core facilities for assessment of vaccines, adjuvants, or immunotherapies in well-established animal models and clinical trial units, please contact me through one of the phone numbers or the email address listed below.
Center for Vaccines and Immunology
University of Georgia
Veterinary Medical Building North
501 D.W. Brooks Drive (Entrance on Carlton Street)
Athens, GA 30602
CVI Front Office: 706-542-3214
CVI Fax: 706-583-0297