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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donates $50 million to Stanford vaccine research group

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has promised to donate $50 million to advance vaccine research at Stanford. The grant will be distributed over 10 years and will establish the Human Systems Immunology Center, building on existing technology at the University’s Human Immune Monitoring Core.

The announcement on Jan. 29 named Mark Davis of the School of Medicine as the head of the new center. Davis is the Burt and Marion Avery Family Professor of Immunology and director of the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection.

The work led by Davis will aim to better understand how the human immune system operates in order to accelerate the development of vaccines for the most deadly infectious diseases.

A statement by the University cited large monetary costs as a major reason for the slow development thus far of vaccines against diseases like HIV and malaria. More research on how the immune system responds to vaccines is intended to prioritize the most promising ones for clinical trials.

In the same statement, president John Hennessy said, “This grant will allow Stanford to leverage advances in technology and accelerate progress in this important area.”

Researchers from Stanford and other institutions will be able to apply for seed grants for their work in immunology and vaccines, and the research coming out of the center will support work being done in various fields and institutions around the globe.

Stanford faculty collaborating with Davis on the new center’s research include Holden Maecker, associate professor of microbiology and immunology and director of the Human Immune Monitoring Center, as well as professors in fields such as genetics, pediatrics and health policy.

 

Contact Sarah Moore at smoore6 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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