Measles, Mumps, Chickenpox, HPV, Polio, Smallpox, yellow fever. All are viruses that we’ve ben able to eliminate or make a rarity from our ability to vaccinate against them.
Dengue, Ebola, HIV, Malaria, Chikungunya, ross river virus. All viruses with terrible costs and still no vaccine.
Never fear though, the Bill and Melinda Gates have proven once again their dedication to bringing health to every corner of the planet. They recently announced a new 10-year, $50 million grant to create a new Human Systems Immunology Center at Stanford University. The effort is to be headed by Stanford professor Mark Davis with partnerships in the School of Engineering and plenty of current immunology faculty. A short (incomplete) list of names includes Garry Nolan, Yvonne Maldonado, Holden Maecker, Atul Butte, and Karla Kirkegaard.
The goal of the new program is to not only understand more about how vaccines work (our current understanding of immunity induction still has a lot of holes in it) but also to develop entirely new ways of vaccinating. Additionally, they hope to analyze people who seem to have unusual immunity development to pathogens leading to better protection than most.
The center has big plans and will hopefully lead to some major advances in some of the world’s most deadly, difficult to vaccinate diseases.