Katherine Eichinger, a graduate student in the lab of PittPharmacy Assistant Professor Kerry Empey, PharmD, PhD was recently selected as a Vaccine Renaissance Scholarship recipient. This award provides travel funding for women and under-represented minorities to attend the 2018 International Society of Vaccines Annual Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She will be traveling to Atlanta at the end of October and will present a poster detailing her work investigating a maternal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine.”

In collaboration with Vaxine Ltd. Pty. and Calder Biosciences, Inc., the Empey Lab is leading preclinical studies in the development of a safe and effective vaccine to protect young children from RSV. Through maternal vaccination with a novel vaccine/adjuvant formulation patented here at the University of Pittsburgh, the Empey Lab has shown that vaccination of pregnant mothers protects both the mothers and their offspring from RSV infection. The award-worthy work presented by Eichinger at the ISV Congress details the immune profile of mothers and offspring following maternal vaccination with safe versus disease-enhancing vaccine formulations. This important work may help define the correlates of protection and markers of enhanced disease in infants born to vaccinated mothers.

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