MAR 11, 2017 9:42 AM PST

Racing to Create Vaccines for Better Public Health

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Researchers are always trying to stay one step ahead of pathogens in developing new vaccines. This video presented by the American Society for Microbiology features two experts on vaccines, medical journalist Meredith Wadman, who has written a book called "The Vaccine Race," which highlights the use of cell lines in vaccine invention. The other speaker is a structural biologist, Dr. April Killikelly, who works as a scientist at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institutes of Health.

Wadman has been especially interested in the controversies surrounding the uses of human tissues in laboratories. For example, there have been instances in which samples have been taken from patients and then used in many experiments and the creation of products, leading to many ethical questions and conundrums. Wadman has a lot of experience doing research on researchers and tells some interesting stories.

Killikelly is a postdoc and can provide a perspective on how vaccines were developed in the laboratories of the 1960s compared to today. For example the United States government went from providing very little funding for scientific research, then showered the NIH with money during the 1960s and 1970s, then funding has remained flat since then. There are many other contrasts between those periods and she briefly discusses them before moving on to a more general discussion of viruses.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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