Dr. Lanying Du, LFKRI's Co-Head of Viral Immunology Laboratory, has received an NIH R01 grant, her second R01 this year, on coronavirus subunit vaccines. This new program is entitled, “Structure-Based Design of Coronavirus Subunit Vaccines” is funded by NIH’s division National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Viral subunit vaccines are safe and convenient, but they generally suffer from low efficacy. In this grant, Dr. Du and collaborators will characterize the intrinsic limitation of viral subunit vaccines and establish novel approaches to overcome it. Using subunit vaccines from newly emerging coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), as the model system, they will rationally design and develop structure-based novel coronavirus subunit vaccines with improved efficiency, and evaluate their neutralizing immunogenicity and protective efficacy against viral infection.

This 5-year grant has total funds of $4.25 million, of which $1.4 million will remain at NYBC. Dr. Shibo Jiang, Member and Co-Head of Viral Immunology Laboratory, Dr. Fang Li of the University of Minnesota, Dr. Jiang Zhu of the Scripps Research Institute, and Dr. Stanley Perlman of the University of Iowa, will be collaborators on this grant.​