Gates Backs New Vaccine Research at Stanford

The Gates Foundation remains a funding juggernaut on vaccines. It has awarded over $8 billion in grants in this area since 1998. Last year, it awarded nearly $325 million in vaccine development and delivery grants. Its biggest move so far this year is a pledge of $50 million to Stanford toward the advancement of vaccine research.

Related: Gates Foundation: Grants for Global Health

The plan is to distribute the $50 million over the next 10 years and use a portion of the funds to establish the Human Systems Immunology Center. The new center will build on the work of Stanford’s existing Human Immune Monitoring Core. Research at the institute will begin by examining human immune system responses and analyzing why some people are able to fight off pathogens better than other people. This work will hopefully help researchers develop new approaches and fast-track vaccine development for some of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases.

So far, there’s no word on exactly which deadly diseases are on Stanford’s hit list, but HIV and malaria look to be at the top of the list. According to the university, “While illnesses like polio and measles are now readily preventable, scientists have been stymied in their efforts to fight diseases such as HIV and malaria.”

Gates has awarded close to $57 million in grants to Stanford since 2001, with around $20 million specifically dedicated to vaccine-related projects and programs.

Gates vaccine grants are mainly awarded out of the foundation’s Vaccine Delivery and Discovery and Translational Sciences programs. Vaccine-related grants are also awarded out of disease specific programs at Gates like HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.