The University of Maryland School of Medicine's Center for Vaccine Development announced on Thursday that it has received a renewed contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for its research and clinical studies.
"The University of Maryland's Center for Vaccine Development has long been a partner of the federal government in the clinical evaluation of vaccines," Karen L. Kotloff, a professor of pediatrics and medicine and the head of infectious disease and tropical pediatrics at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine, said. "Renewal of our contract is a testimony to our expertise in helping protect people throughout the world against diseases that pose significant public health threats."
The University of Maryland is one of eight NIAID designated Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units in the country. Under the new 10-year contract, all of the institutions, including the University of Maryland, have the potential to receive funding worth up to $135 million annually.
"Future projects are likely to use molecular tools that are now available to design better vaccines and to unmask signals that lead to immunity, while avoiding side effects," Kotloff said.
The new contract is also putting an emphasis on international studies, focusing on global health. The University of Maryland's global reach in clinical trials was part of the reason the contract was awarded to them.
"This emphasis on global health is a great match for the CVD because our center has a large geographic reach to facilitate clinical studies in several African and Asian countries as well as Santiago, Chile," E. Albert Reece, the vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland, said.