Mar 11, 2022

New study confirms bioengineered RSV protein vaccine evokes protective immune response

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Close interactions with infectious disease set both University of California, Santa Cruz graduate student Ana Nuñez Castrejon and Associate Professor of Biomolecular Engineering Rebecca DuBois on the path of studying respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common and sometimes dangerous respiratory disease for which there is not currently a vaccine. The two researchers recently marked a major milestone in their effort to create an effective vaccine for the virus with the publishing of their paper “Structure-based design and antigenic validation of respiratory syncytial virus G immunogens” in the Journal of Virology.

For fifth-year Baskin Engineering student and the paper’s lead author Nuñez Castrejon, a bout of pneumonia that lingered for months when she was an sparked her interest in studying respiratory illnesses. For DuBois, watching her child go through a serious infection of RSV, which can cause severe respiratory infections in infants/children and the elderly, led her to study the disease.

“We have all of these wonderful childhood vaccines that have eliminated so much childhood disease, but there are still a lot of infectious diseases that are really tough on children, and RSV is one of those that causes hospitalizations in children,” DuBois said.

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