To support innovation and advancements in the biosciences, Iowa State University is working in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Innovation Corporation to offer bioscience-based research seed grants made possible by funding through the Iowa Legislature. The essence of the program is to “foster commercialization of new technologies and innovations and help the state continue to grow and diversify its economy.”
Not only do the seed grants encourage new discoveries, but they also help to build a stronger and more sustainable economy that positions Iowa as a leader in Vaccine and Immunotherapeutics.
The Office of the Vice President for Research recently awarded grants for the 2021 fiscal year to three projects at the Nanovaccine Institute. The Vaccines and Immunotherapy Seed Grant funding will allow Principal Investigators to advance their research and make discoveries that can lead to future commercialization or additional funding opportunities.
Vaccines and Immunotherapy Seed Grant Funding Recipients:
Principal Investigators: Jodi McGill and David Verhoeven
Project Title: “Cost-favorable production of a prefusion F subunit vaccine for bovine respiratory syncytial virus”
Project Description: The project will focus on vaccine development to prevent bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) infection in cattle. BRSV is a cause of bovine respiratory disease complex, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US beef and dairy industries. In partnership with Elanco Animal Health, the project will explore cost-favorable strategies for producing a safe and efficacious recombinant protein-based vaccine that can be delivered needle-free by intranasal vaccination.
Principal Investigator: David Verhoeven
Project Title: “Investigation of baculovirus produced fiber and hexon for protection from adenovirus in chickens”
Project Description: Fowl adenovirus are significant viruses of birds that leads to numerous diseases and major economic losses for the poultry industry. In partnership with Arko Laboratories in Jewell IA, the Verhoeven laboratory will investigate a recombinant protein vaccination generated in insect cells for efficacy against infection in chickens.
Principal Investigators: Michael Wannemuehler and Surya Mallapragada
Project Title: “Use of Pentablock Copolymer Micelles to Enhance the Immune Response of Goats for the Induction of Serum Antibody”
Project Description: The funded project will assess a novel nanovaccine formulation for its ability to enhance the immune response in goats following vaccination. Given that goats are commonly used to generate the antibodies used in diagnostic medicine, the ability to improve antibody production would be highly beneficial to this particular type of industry.