The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the importance of vaccines, particularly for the elderly, who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. However, a decline in immune response as well as inflammation that accompanies aging require a booster to improve the immune response.
Jai Rudra, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering, will collaborate with Meredith Jackrel, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, both at Washington University in St. Louis, to develop and test a novel nanofiber material to eliminate the use of adjuvants — a substance that is added to a vaccine to help stimulate the immune system.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded their work with a two-year $433,125 grant. The award funds high-risk, exploratory research for the early and conceptual stages of developing a project.