Dr. Sara Lustigman, Head of LFKRI’s Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology has been awarded a 5-year NIH U01 collaborative grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. The grant entitled, “Restoring age-dependent vaccine unresponsiveness by a novel ASP-1 adjuvant combination” is for a total of $3.6M, of which $1.8M will remain at the New York Blood Center. The collaborating lead investigator is Dr. Jacques Banchereau, Director of Immunological Sciences institute at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine.

The study addresses a major hurdle in vaccine effectiveness, namely the issue of lower vaccine effectiveness in the elderly. By identifying aging-associated changes in the immune system, the study aims to target the affected immune pathways by using rASP-1, a unique parasite protein adjuvant developed at NYBC by Dr. Lustigman’s lab, in combination with other adjuvants in vaccine formulations with the goal of boosting and ultimately improving vaccine-induced immune responses in the older population.

Congratulations Dr. Lustigman!