Center for Vaccine Development
Director: Myron M. Levine, MD, DTPH
Professor, Departments of Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology and Pediatrics
The Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), an Organized Research Center, is dedicated to research, training, clinical consultation and public health consultation in the broad field of vaccinology. CVD faculty hold primary appointments in the departments of medicine, pediatrics, or microbiology and immunology. The CVD has four primary missions.
The first is to foster and carry out superior, state-of-the-art, peer reviewed, innovative, multidisciplinary research on all aspects of vaccinology including:
- Basic research (e.g., pathogenesis, engineering of vaccine candidates, fundamental studies of immune response, studies of host-pathogen interaction);
- Clinical research (e.g., Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials assessing the safety, immunogenicity, transmissibility, etc., of vaccine candidates in pediatric, young adult, geriatric and special risk populations; intensive measurement of serum, mucosal and cell-mediated immune responses);
- Epidemiologic research and field studies (e.g., large-scale, randomized, controlled field trials to assess vaccine efficacy and effectiveness; serosurveys; prevalence surveys of pathogen carriage; cohort studies quantifying the occurrence and relative importance of known and newly discovered pathogens).
This dominant mission of the CVD requires a multidisciplinary approach to the development and testing of new and improved vaccines. In total, 28 full-time faculty, two part-time faculty and six adjunct faculty (18 MDs, 16 PhDs, 2 MD/PhDs) and approximately 75 staff members work in the Baltimore complex. Approximately 90 percent of their salary support comes from competitive grants and research contracts, especially from the NIH. In fiscal year 2004, CVD investigators were awarded over $33.8 million in grants and contracts (mostly from NIH).
Field research is carried out at several sites around the world. CVD has three field units: CVD-Chile in South America, CVD-Mali in West Africa and CVD-Malawi in Southern Africa.
The second mission of the CVD is to train medical and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists within the broad discipline of vaccinology. Most CVD faculty hold secondary appointments in departments with graduate programs such as microbiology and immunology, and epidemiology and preventive medicine, allowing them to serve as graduate student mentors. Medical students often perform short-term research internships in CVD laboratories or field sites. The CVD currently holds two NIH-supported training grants, including the only T32 training grant in Vaccinology.
The CVD's third mission is to provide consultations in the area of clinical vaccinology, advice on immunizations for infants and children, travelers, pregnant women, and immunocompromised hosts, especially through our Traveler's Health Service, an outpatient clinic.
Finally, the CVD provides expert consultantships or committee membership to national and international agencies (e.g., National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, Institute of Medicine), Ministries of Health of various countries and industry.