Purdue Receives NIH Funding

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Professor Suresh Mittal in Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine courtesy of Purdue University. Professor Suresh Mittal in Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine courtesy of Purdue University.
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The National Institutes of Health has awarded a more than $1.5 million grant to a Purdue University project. The funding will support bird flu vaccine research.

The project is led by Suresh Mittal. He is a professor of comparative pathobiology in Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine. The team also includes collaborators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Purdue says the team created a vaccine in 2006 for the H5N1 bird flu virus, and now they are focusing on developing a broad spectrum vaccine capable of covering emerging influenza viruses.

"These viruses begin in wild birds and as they evolve they expand to poultry and then to humans. There is a very real risk that we will face an avian influenza pandemic at some point in the future and we need to be prepared. One important way to prepare is to develop and stockpile an effective vaccine. We can't predict what strain of the virus will be involved in a pandemic, so we need a vaccine that can offer protection across all of the strains," Mittal said.

Mittal says a broad spectrum vaccine will eliminate or lower the severity of symptoms, decrease transmission of the virus and save lives.

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