Scientists in DIR conduct laboratory and clinical research covering a wide range of disciplines related to infectious diseases, immunology, and allergy. DIR researchers study all aspects of infectious diseases such as AIDS, malaria, and influenza, including the causative agent, vectors, and human host. They also study prions, the transmissible agents associated with “mad cow” disease and its human form, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
In addition, DIR investigators study the cells, antibodies, receptors, proteins, and chemicals that compose the immune system. In recent years, research aimed at developing countermeasures against bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases has become an important part of the DIR agenda.
Research discoveries are frequently translated into promising vaccine candidates, treatments, or diagnostic procedures that can be evaluated in clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center on the Bethesda, Maryland, campus or at international sites.
The Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC) is dedicated to translating the latest knowledge of disease pathogenesis and immunology into new vaccine strategies, thereby providing safe and effective means to prevent and control human diseases. The primary focus of the VRC is to conduct research to develop an effective AIDS vaccine.
The VRC research scope is quite broad, encompassing all stages of vaccine development, including basic research, design, and development of vaccine candidates; pre-clinical testing; production of vaccine candidates; and conduct of human clinical trials to determine vaccine safety and efficacy.
Progress toward achieving the VRC mission depends upon successful communication and sharing of ideas. Thus, the VRC also emphasizes and promotes a spirit of collaboration and scientific exchange, within the center and within NIH and with academic, industrial, and clinical scientists within the United States and worldwide.
back to top
Last Updated March 12, 2007