Biodesign Institute Awarded $3.2 Million To Develop Vaccine To Thwart Biothreat
The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has been awarded a $3.2 million grant to develop a safe and effective vaccine against the disease tularemia, more commonly known as "rabbit fever." The bacterium that causes the disease, Francisella tularensis, is a potential biothreat agent against which no effective vaccine currently exists. The Biodesign Institute's Center for Innovations in Medicine received the award for an approach that divides the research into two distinct projects. These are led by Stephen Albert Johnston, director of the Center for Innovations in Medicine, and Kathryn F. Sykes, a researcher within the center. Both are also faculty in the School of Life Sciences. Johnston was recruited to the institute in June of 2005, and the three-year award is the first major grant award for the center.