New opportunities for vaccine discovery, delivery, and development

Blaine Pfeifer and Charles Jones

Published December 22, 2016

The Pfeifer group will develop a hybrid gene and protein delivery device designed to tune a resulting immune response.

“These are very serious illnesses that we haven’t been able to completely suppress. The vaccine we’re developing could finally get that job done.”
Blaine Pfeifer, Associate Professor
UB Chemical and Biological Engineering

The technology is to be applied towards vaccine applications and will be tested in the context of viral and bacterial infectious disease and cancer. 

In a work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Drs. Charles Jones and Blaine Pfeifer, in collaboration with other UB researchers, describe the application of novel antigens used to vaccinate against pneumococcal disease, which afflicts millions worldwide (primarily the young, elderly, and resource limited).

The results show broad protection against the disease with a unique aspect of targeting only those bacterial cells that have been triggered to cause disease. Yi Li, a current doctoral student of Dr. Pfeifer, was lead author on the work with contributions from Marie Beitelshees, another doctoral student in the Pfeifer group.

Dr. Jones was a former student of Dr. Pfeifer’s and is now leading vaccine development efforts as CEO of Abcombi Biosciences, founded by Drs. Jones and Pfeifer.

New approach to vaccinate against pneumococcal disease (caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae).