UW Medicine Gets Multi-Million Dollar Grant For Universal Flu Vaccine

A nurse prepares a flu shot from a vaccine vial. CREDIT: DAVID GOLDMAN
A nurse prepares a flu shot from a vaccine vial. CREDIT: DAVID GOLDMAN

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BY BRIAN GREGORY, KUOW

The Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington School of Medicine has been awarded $11.3 million to work on a universal flu vaccine.

David Baker is the institute’s director. He said a universal flu vaccine would protect you from a broad range of flu strains.

“Right now there is a projection made before each flu season or maybe six months before each flu season about what strains of flu are likely to be coming through and then a vaccine is prepared specifically against those strains,” Baker said. “But those predictions can be wrong. So if you had a universal flu vaccine that protected you against all flu strains it would the guess work out of this equation.”

Baker also said there could be future benefits.

“If you had a vaccine that gave you really long lived protection, then it could be like the other types of vaccines, we get a polio vaccine once, other vaccines we get once, you wouldn’t have to get a new vaccine every year,” Baker said.

Baker said that whether a universal flu vaccine is developed or not, this gift will build techniques and technologies that will advance science and have a huge variety of implications in medicine and industry.

The grant from the San Francisco-based Open Philanthropy Project is one of its largest awards to date.

Copyright 2018 KUOW

 

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