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October 24, 2003

School Receives $1.6 Million to Expand Vaccine Development and Research

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will expand its vaccine development and research efforts with grants from BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) totaling $1.6 million in financial and other support. BD is a leader in the development of vaccine delivery devices and of instrumentation and reagents for evaluation of immune responses. The grants will be used to establish the BD Immune Function Laboratory and the Vaccine Evaluation Unit, a research collaboration to evaluate BD devices for delivery of new vaccines.

The BD Immune Function Laboratory will be a state-of-the-art facility for evaluation of the immune responses to infectious diseases and experimental vaccines. Currently, investigators at the School of Public Health are working on new vaccines for malaria, HIV, measles, dengue, and other important infectious agents. The grant will provide the equipment and reagents needed for evaluation of the responses of lymphocytes and other immune cells to infections and immunizations. This information will allow more rapid and accurate determination of the quality of immune responses, indicating whether they are likely to protect from infection. BD’s financial support will also provide training for staff members.

The Vaccine Evaluation Unit, which will synergize with the BD Immune Function Laboratory, will fund a collaboration to test the safety and efficacy of novel ways to deliver vaccines to improve vaccine safety and reduce the transmission of blood-borne diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV.

“Support from BD will enable us to expand our capacity to develop and evaluate new vaccines, which hold the greatest potential for easing some of world’s most serious public health problems, such as AIDS and malaria,” said Diane Griffin, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the School’s W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Griffin will oversee the BD Immune Function Laboratory and Vaccine Evaluation Unit with Joseph Margolick, MD, PhD, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology, and Donald Burke, MD, director of Disease Prevention and Control in the Department of International Health.

“BD is pleased to support these extremely important initiatives at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,” said Edward J. Ludwig, BD’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “BD is committed to advancing health care, education, and research, and we look forward to working with the School to achieve its goals in immunology research and evaluation.”

Initial activities for both the BD Immune Function Laboratory and the Vaccine Evaluation Unit will begin this month.

BD is a medical technology company that serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, industry, and the general public. BD manufactures and sells a broad range of medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment, and diagnostic products.

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.