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UW Microbiology

Dr. Deborah Fuller Webinar Nucleic Acid Vaccines: The Beginning of a Medical Revolution

Deborah Fuller

The COVID-19 pandemic brought mRNA vaccines to the forefront and realized, for the first time, their promise of providing a more rapid response to emerging infectious diseases than traditional vaccines. Ideally, vaccines of the future will not only be quick to develop but offer long-term stability at warm temperatures to overcome the barriers of the cold chain for worldwide distribution, achieve a high-level efficacy in the immune-compromised and elderly, induce durable immunity in as few doses as possible and be capable of self-administration. The Fuller Lab is developing a second generation of nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) vaccines to address many of these gaps. Through novel immunogen design, innovative delivery, and formulations, the incorporation of genetic adjuvants, and combination approaches, we have developed new nucleic acid-based vaccine strategies that induce robust cellular and mucosal immune responses in addition to broad antibody responses that could further revolutionize vaccination by providing more effective and durable protection not only from coronaviruses but also influenza and other emerging infectious diseases such as Valley Fever, a fungal respiratory pathogen that causes pneumonia-like illness and, occasionally, life threatening symptoms, and is spreading due to climate change.