Dr. Lanying Du, Head of the Laboratory of Viral Immunology, has received a 2-year NIH R21 grant, totaling almost $500,000 funds exclusively awarded to NYBC, on development of Zika virus (ZIKV) therapeutic antibodies.
ZIKV which causes congenital syndrome, including microcephaly, and neurological complications in babies but also adults, was declared a public health emergency of international concern in 2016 by WHO after the outbreak of the disease. Despite a steep decline in ZIKV cases, ongoing research continues for developing vaccines as well as treatments that could be used prophylactically as well as for accelerating viral clearance for controlling future outbreaks. The funded studies by Dr. Du are aimed at developing a novel, stable, and efficacious therapeutic antibody to prevent and treat ZIKV infection and ZIKV-driven tissue damage. This proposal represents NYBC’s first NIH funded grant on ZIKV.