New Center Merges the former Institute for Global Health and the Center for Vaccine Development to Combat Infectious Diseases and Emerging Pathogens Around the World
University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today the launch of a newly organized Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD). The new Center will be led by UMSOM Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, FIDSA, one of the world’s most influential research scientists and advocates in vaccine development and policy.
The Center merges two previous UMSOM entities: the Institute for Global Health and the Center for Vaccine Development. As part of the new organizational structure, three Associate Directors were appointed to form the CVD leadership team: Karen Kotloff, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, will serve as Associate Director for Clinical Research; Miriam Laufer, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, Epidemiology & Public Health, becomes Associate Director for Malaria Research; and Marcelo Sztein, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, is named Associate Director for Basic and Translational Research for the CVD.
UMSOM is internationally recognized for its extensive research to combat critical global health issues, such as the threat of drug resistant malaria, antimicrobial resistance, enteric diseases and other tropical and infectious diseases burdening low resource settings. It received worldwide recognition as the only medical school in the U.S. selected by the World Health Organization to carry out the first trials for a new Ebola vaccine, and it is currently one of only nine sites in the U.S. that are on continuous standby as a ready resource for the NIH to conduct clinical trials of vaccines and treatments for infectious diseases.
“The Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health brings together our important work on global and tropical disease research with vaccine development, and it builds upon the truly integrated approach that has allowed the University of Maryland School of Medicine to be a leader in these areas,” said Dean Reece, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at UM Baltimore and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor.
Dr. Neuzil was recruited to UMSOM in 2015, when longtime Center for Vaccine Development Director Myron M. Levine, MD, DTPH, the Simon and Bessie Grollman Distinguished Professor, was transitioning to his role as the new Associate Dean for Global Health, Vaccinology, and Infectious Diseases.
Under Dr. Neuzil’s leadership, the newly launched CVD will build upon its established expertise in global infectious and tropical disease research coupled with critical vaccine research and development, to expand path-breaking research programs in enteric diseases, influenza and respiratory diseases, malaria, and emerging pathogens. CVD is in a unique position where faculty and researchers collaborate across these areas in the critical work of antigen discovery, microbial pathogenesis, immunology, and clinical and field research.
“I am humbled and honored to lead the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health,” said Dr. Neuzil. “It is truly standing on the shoulders of giants. I am passionate about our pioneering science, our role in training young researchers, and the impact of our work here in Baltimore and around the world.”
Dr. Neuzil has conducted pivotal clinical and epidemiologic research on vaccine-preventable diseases domestically and internationally. Through this research, she has been a key driver in the many changes in vaccine policy in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Neuzil has a large portfolio of federal and foundation funding, including serving as Principal Investigator for the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC), a multi-organization, multi-site effort to accelerate the introduction of typhoid conjugate vaccines. She serves on prestigious scientific and policy committees for the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and other foundations and professional societies. Dr. Neuzil completed her Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Maryland, College Park, her medical degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and her Master of Public Health Degree at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where she also completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious diseases.
“I am pleased to see the CVD continue to evolve in new and exciting ways,” said Dr. Levine, who is internationally regarded as one of the “fathers of vaccinology” for his decades of pioneering work in the field. “Most importantly, I am proud that the Center remains true to its founding principles: to aid the world’s underserved populations and save lives through the development, testing and deployment of vaccines against infectious diseases of global importance."
Dean Reece added: “Following Dr. Levine’s founding of CVD more than four decades ago, we have been fortunate to have some of the most highly-respected leaders in the field of vaccine development on our team, of which Dr. Neuzil is one. She is ideally suited to lead this newly-organized center into the future,” said Dean Reece.
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 and is the first public medical school in the United States and continues today as an innovative leader in accelerating innovation and discovery in medicine. The School of Medicine is the founding school of the University of Maryland and is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. Located on the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education. With 43 academic departments, centers and institutes and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians and research scientists plus more than $400 million in extramural funding, the School is regarded as one of the leading biomedical research institutions in the U.S. with top-tier faculty and programs in cancer, brain science, surgery and transplantation, trauma and emergency medicine, vaccine development and human genomics, among other centers of excellence. The School is not only concerned with the health of the citizens of Maryland and the nation, but also has a global presence, with research and treatment facilities in more than 35 countries around the world. medschool.umaryland.edu/
About the UMSOM Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health
For over 40 years, researchers in the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health have worked domestically and internationally to develop, test, and deploy vaccines to aid the world’s underserved populations. The CVD is an academic enterprise engaged in the full range of infectious disease intervention from basic laboratory research through vaccine development, pre-clinical and clinical evaluation, large-scale pre-licensure field studies, and post-licensure assessments. CVD has worked to eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases. The CVD has created and tested vaccines against cholera, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, non-typhoidal salmonella disease, shigellosis (bacillary dysentery), Escherichia coli diarrhea, nosocomial pathogens, tularemia, influenza, and other infectious diseases.
CVD’s research covers the broader goal of improving global health by conducting innovative, leading research in Baltimore and around the world. CVD researchers are developing new and improved ways to diagnose, prevent, treat, control, and eradicate diseases of global impact. Currently, these diseases include malaria, typhoid, shigella and vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. CVD researchers have been involved in critical vaccine development for emerging pathogens such as Zika and Ebola. In addition, CVD’s work focuses on the ever-growing challenge of anti-microbial resistance.