Baylor College of Medicine’s long-standing Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit received a seven-year renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health and will join the new Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium, announced recently by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The NIAID plans to provide approximately $29 million per year for seven years for the consortium.
The consortium will be a clinical trials network that encompasses the Institute’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEU), the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the NIH and a new consortium leadership group. Baylor is one of nine VTEUs across the country, a designation it has held since 1968. It is led by Dr. Hana El Sahly, associate professor of molecular virology and medicine – infectious diseases. Dr. Robert Atmar, professor of medicine – infectious diseases, is a VTEU investigator and also a member of the executive management team of the newly formed leadership group.
The consortium will fast-track the Institute’s work in clinical research of vaccine candidates and other interventions. Investigators in the group will prioritize candidate vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics and other interventions to test in clinical trials and will have the capacity to rapidly organize and initiate clinical trials at the sites in cases of public health emergencies.
”Baylor’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit is well positioned to continue its tradition of clinical vaccine development targeting pathogens of public health impact and train a new generation of clinical investigators who will invigorate the field,” El Sahly said.