Research Conducted at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC)

Arbovirus Immunity Section

Arbovirus Immunity Section (AIS) investigates the biology of and immunological responses to viruses spread to people by the bites of arthropods such as ticks and mosquitoes.

Cellular Immunology Section

The aim of the Cellular Immunology Section (CIS) is to provide a mechanistic basis for developing preventive vaccines against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, SARS-CoV-2 and therapeutic vaccines against cancer.

Clinical Trials Program

The primary mission of the VRC Clinical Trials Program (CTP) is to carry out clinical research through both an intramural program based at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center and through a broad range of support for external trials conducted by VRC collaborators and partners.

Human Immunology Section

The Human Immunology Section (HIS) studies the processes that determine the course of human diseases in which the immune system plays a central role in their pathogenesis and outcome. We take a systems biology approach to generate multi-scale datasets.

Humoral Immunology Section

The Humoral Immunology Section (HIMS) focuses on understanding antibody-mediated protective immune responses against HIV-1 using studies of both the plasma antibody compartment and the B-cell compartment.

Immunology Section

The mission of the Immunology Section (IMS) is to investigate novel aspects of the cellular immune response to pathogens in support of the rational development of a vaccine against HIV and other lethal human viral pathogens.

ImmunoTechnology Section

The ImmunoTechnology Section (ITS) is dedicated to understanding the roles and interactions of the individual components of the mature central immune system, with a particular eye toward the changes occurring during acute or chronic antigenic challenge. 

Molecular ImmunoEngineering Section

The Molecular Immunoengineering Section (MIS) at the Vaccine Research Center aims to conceive novel vaccine concepts that elicit broad and potent protective immune responses against influenza virus and provide a mechanistic principle for designing vaccines for other hypervariable pathogens such as coronaviruses and HIV-1.


The PREMISE (Pandemic REsponse REpository through Microbial and Immune Surveillance and Epidemiology) program was established to support pandemic preparedness and response. Through a network of investigators and collaborators, PREMISE conducts virologic and immunologic screening of targeted and broad cohorts to detect reactivity against pathogens of pandemic potential.

Regulatory Science and Strategy Program

The Vaccine Research Center (VRC) Regulatory Science and Strategy Program (RSSP) aims to advance and support the VRC mission to discover, develop, and evaluate novel vaccines and antibody-based products.

Structural Biology Section

The Structural Biology Section (SBS) seeks to apply structural biology to the development of effective vaccines – especially a vaccine against HIV-1.

Translational Research Program

The Translational Research Program (TRP) serves three major functions at the VRC: 1) provides centralized support and service for all in vivo research conducted at the VRC, 2) conducts collaborative research and animal model development, and 3) operates a fully accredited lab animal facility.

Vaccine Immunology Program

The goal of the Vaccine Immunology Program (VIP) is to facilitate the coordinated development and deployment of state-of-the-art technologies and analyses, which can be utilized effectively for vaccine discovery, early development and testing of clinical products.

Vaccine Production Program

The goal of the Vaccine Production Program Laboratory (VPPL) is to efficiently translate candidate research vaccines into materials for proof-of-concept clinical trials and to enable advanced development and licensure by partners.

Viral Persistence & Dynamics Section

VPDS was established with a mission to help develop means of targeting virus reservoirs and reducing disease progression in people living with HIV.


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