Touro Professor Garners Grants

Vallejo News, May 18, 2012 (Issue 26) 

Dr. Alison McCormick, Associate Professor of Pharmacy at Touro University, has recently received two grants that will help with her research projects, titled "Adaptation of a Novel RNA Virus for Vaccine Use" and "Plant-Produced Synthetic RNA Vaccines." This groundbreaking vaccine research is one example of exciting learning taking place on Touro's Mare Island campus in Vallejo. 

Dr. McCormick's first grant was awarded in April and comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Allergy and Infectious Diseases Department. "NIH funding provides me with an opportunity to develop a new type of vaccine," McCormick said. "Our immediate goal is to establish 'proof of principle' that a new highly effective, single dose immunization can be created using a hybrid virus strategy." 

The second award Dr. McCormick received was part of the Grand Challenges Explorations Grants (GCE), an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With this grant, Dr. McCormick will test the ability of a low-cost plant-based synthetic biology method to use a living plant system to produce complex molecules. "Our hope is to turn tobacco into a medicine-making factory, and be able to create new and effective vaccines," McCormick said.