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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Finding a quicker route to vaccines
Harvard microbiologist Dr. Darren E. Higgins (left) wants to help your immune system in a hurry and on the cheap, a story in today's New York Times says.
The 40-year-old associate professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School is a co-founder of Genocea, a Cambridge start-up working on a novel method of vaccine development. His goal is to find the quickest way to make inexpensive vaccines that fight numerous complex and aggressive viruses and bacteria, the story says.
Students in his lab are trying to determine which proteins stimulate an immune system response, the story says. The idea is to administer these proteins, or combinations of proteins, to people in order to prepare their immune systems to resist attacks by the likes of tuberculosis, HIV or malaria.
"We are mimicking the human body immune response," he told the Times.