Dr Deb Fuller Honored by the Hope College Alumni Association

"Fuller studied biology, Spanish and mathematics at Hope. In 2001, she received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Molecular and Cellular Pathology at the University of Wisconsin.

She joined the faculty at Albany Medical College in New York as an associate professor in the Center for Immunology and Microbial Disease in June 2007 following three years as an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry. Prior to her academic career, she was a senior scientist at PowderJect Vaccines in Madison, Wisconsin, where she co-invented nucleic acid vaccine strategies that she still employs for her academic research. She has been at the University of Washington since 2010. 

Fuller has published 90 manuscripts and book chapters and is a co-inventor on over a dozen patents on the subjects of viral immunity, antivirals and DNA and RNA vaccines. She has received multiple grant awards from the National Institutes of Health and nonprofit foundations to fund her research, and she serves on several national scientific committees and advisory boards. In 2017, she co-founded Orlance, Inc., a biotechnology company developing next generation needle-free vaccine delivery technologies for DNA and RNA vaccines.

In the past year, Fuller played a key role in advancing vaccines and antivirals for COVID-19. Her lab had developed second-generation DNA and RNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 including one that is scheduled for human clinical trials in Spring 2021 to enable rapid manufacture and more accelerated worldwide distribution. At the start of the pandemic, Fuller was appointed to the Leadership Team on the National Institute of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccines and Therapeutic Evaluation Network that aims to accelerate the most promising vaccines and antivirals to clinical testing. In the last year, she has also served a major role in enhancing public understanding of the science behind the COVID-19 vaccines. She has been a regular guest expert on Bloomberg TV, CNN, NPR and local Seattle area news and has contributed to multiple articles published by the Washington Post, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Vox, conversation.com and others.

As a student at Hope, she participated in varsity women’s track, cross country and swimming, the Mortar Board honor society, and an off-campus study semester in Spain. As an alumna, she serves as part of the college’s Career Resource Network.

Fuller lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington. She shares two sons with her husband, Jim Fuller."

Publication Date: 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021