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About CVD

James Kaper
Dr. James Kaper

Improving Public Health Worldwide

The Center focuses on infectious diseases that afflict children in less-developed countries, as well as children and adults in Maryland and the entire United States. Infections of particular interest include cholera, typhoid fever, shigellosis, and the various types of Escherichia coli that cause diarrhea.

Also of interest are diseases caused by other vibrio species, malaria, AIDS, pertussis, and meningitis due to Haemophilus influenzae type b. Under funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center has embarked on a project to develop a "stealth" measles vaccine intended to protect children under 9 months of age in measles-endemic areas.

The Center heads a coalition of 16 Middle Atlantic region institutions seeking to develop improved vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics against smallpox, anthrax, hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola, and potentially deadly forms of bacteria such as E. coli and Shigella. Learn More.

Faculty and staff consult with international agencies such as the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, Agency for International Development, World Bank, and the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization, as well as with individual governments.

Chris Plowe
Dr. Chris Plowe


August 2005

The NIAID awarded Dr. Chris Plowe a 5-year cooperative agreement, "Malaria vaccine trials in Mali," to test a new malaria vaccine in children in Bandiagara, Mali, where the CVD has developed a malaria vaccine testing program with colleagues from the University of Bamako. Dr. Plowe was also awarded two NIAID cooperative agreements in June 2004 ("Clinical trials of chloroquine combinations in Malawi") and in May 2005 ("Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole prophylaxis and drug-resistant malaria in Malawi") to conduct clinical trials and molecular epidemiology studies in Malawi. These projects support state-of-the-art clinical trials facilities in these two sub-Saharan African countries.

February 2004

The Center was awarded a research contract by the National Institutes of Health: "Food and Waterborne Diseases Integrated Research Network, Clinical Research Unit" (Carol O. Tacket, PI). This $7.3 million, seven-year project will perform Phase I and II clinical trials to evaluate candidate prophylactic and/or therapeutic vaccines, biologicals and drugs, new vaccine or therapy strategies, routes of administration, and the induction of specific innate and/or adaptive immune responses.

September 2003

The Center was awarded the largest grant in the history of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, to lead the Regional Center of Excellence (RCE) for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research. The 4-year, $42 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will be used to develop new and improved vaccines, diagnostic tools and treatments to help protect the country and world from the threat of bioterrorism and naturally occurring infectious diseases. As the lead institution of the Middle Atlantic RCE, the University of Maryland heads a consortium of 16 biomedical research institutions to carry out the NIAID’s strategic plan for biodefense research. Learn More.

September 2003

James Nataro
Dr. James Nataro

Dr. James Nataro and colleagues were awarded a cooperative agreement, "Live vector vaccines against agents of bioterror." This 4-year project will develop live attenuated enteric bacterial vaccines against anthrax, plague, and botulism. These vaccines would be designed to elicit both mucosal and systemic responses after a single dose, or as part of a prime-boost vaccination strategy. This project will combine the vast experience of the CVD and the Chemical and Biological Defense Center, Porton Down (UK) in the development of enteric vaccines against anthrax, plague and botulism. It is anticipated that the products developed will be tested in animals, with the aim of generating a series of vaccine candidates for immediate Phase 1 human trials.

July 2003

The NIAID awarded their Food and Waterborne Diseases Integrated Research Network, Immunology Research Unit contract to the CVD and principal investigator Dr. Marcelo B. Sztein. This project will work in coordination with clinical, microbiology, and coordinating/biostatistics units to provide immunological measurements of clinical trials of vaccines and therapeutics against bacterial, viral, and protozoan diseases, and to conduct research and development on immunological responses to such pathogens. This contract will run through 2010.