The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has announced intentions to expand an existing contract with Emory University for an effort entitled “An Integrated Approach to Understanding Host-Pathogen Interactions.”
This project aims to demonstrate the utility and value of systems vaccinology for malaria vaccine development with the benefits of established non-human primate (NHP) model systems.
The work consists of experiments that involve immunizing rhesus monkeys with irradiation-attenuated Plasmodium cynomolgi sporozoites (multiple strains) to identify molecular signatures associated with immunity and protection. Omics data analysis and integration will be performed as well as in-depth immune profiling to assess changes in frequencies and activation status of approximately 30 cellular subsets comprised of neutrophils, monocytes, B-cells, dendritic cells, and T-cells.
The original contract was awarded on a competitive basis for a five-year period (inclusive of options) which ends in Sept. 2017, with a total potential value of $19,458,981. The objective of the current acquisition is to increase the quantity of labor hours delivered through the remainder of the current contract.
The expansion will build upon a large body of systems biology data generated on the natural course of infection, immunity and pathogenesis in NHP models for the widespread human malaria pathogen, P. vivax.