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Wistar Scientist on Seasonal Flu Vaccine Questions and Concerns

Released: 6-Aug-2014 10:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Wistar Institute
Contact Information

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Wistar Expert: Scott Hensley, Ph.D., Wistar Institute assistant professor and Wistar Institute Vaccine Center member

Discipline: Immunology, Influenza

Hensley laboratory major scientific focus:

--Elucidating mechanisms that promote antigenic drift of influenza viruses
--Identifying factors that influence influenza vaccine responsiveness. The overarching goals are to use basic immunological and virological approaches to improve the process by which influenza vaccine strains are chosen and to develop new influenza vaccines that are protective against antigenically diverse influenza strains.

Biography:
Dr. Hensley came to Wistar as an assistant professor in 2010 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health. Hensley received his undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware and earned a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. In 2007, he began a postdoctoral fellowship at NIAID and distinguished himself in immunology circles for his work on antigenic drift, the evolutionary changes in the outer coating of the influenza virus that allows the flu to change from year to year.

Research:
The Hensley lab focuses on how to combat seasonal influenza, which contributes to many annual deaths across the world. The team uses basic virology and immunology techniques to understand how seasonal influenza eludes our immune system, making an annual influenza vaccine necessary. Hensley and his colleagues at The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center are also in pursuit of a “universal vaccine” for seasonal influenza, a single vaccine that will enable people to forgo an annual flu shot.

Click here for link to research.

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