Leading the Fight Against the Flu
November 12, 2019
by Jere W. Morehead, President
This fall, the University of Georgia received the largest research award in our history—a contract with the National Institutes of Health for up to $130 million—to develop a universal flu vaccine that would fight a number of influenza strains at once, for several years at a time. UGA’s investments in biomedical sciences, particularly in the area of infectious diseases, make us eminently qualified to play a key role in this national initiative.
Dr. Ted Ross, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar of Infectious Diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Director of the Center for Vaccines and Immunology, is leading the project. He is heading one of the NIH’s new, prestigious Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers with Dr. Stacey Schultz-Cherry at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They and their team members are especially interested in developing a vaccine that protects the most vulnerable in our population.
This project is one of many helping our research enterprise to reach new heights. UGA faculty received a record amount of sponsored research awards in FY19, increasing by more than 8% over the previous year. Sponsored research expenditures also rose to record levels in FY19, growing by more than 5% over last year. These numbers continue a strong upward trend in research activity for UGA faculty. In the past five years, research expenditures have risen more than 37%, and awards have risen nearly 44%.
As we continue to build the research enterprise at the University of Georgia, we are increasing the ability of our faculty to save lives around the world.