Newswise — Building on its illustrious landmark-achieving history in the field of immunology, NYU Langone Health announced today the launch of a Vaccine Center that combines basic research, clinical studies, and public health outreach to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and other immunological disorders.

The multidisciplinary center, led by Mark J. Mulligan, MD, an internationally renowned infectious diseases investigator, is the first center of its kind in New York City -- which history and current events have shown can be an international entry point for infectious diseases into this country. Working alongside communities, the Vaccine Center will aim to reduce vaccine hesitancy and educate the population about the benefits and safety of vaccines.

“Vaccine research is of great importance to humankind,” says Dr. Mulligan, the Thomas S. Murphy, Sr. Professor of Medicine and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology. “We still lack widely effective vaccines for many long-standing diseases like AIDS, TB, and malaria. In addition, new threats like Zika and Ebola continue to emerge. The mission of our center is to discover new approaches to protect and restore human health.”

The center uses state-of-the-art technology to tackle complex problems in vaccine research. A team of epidemiologists, immunologists and microbiologists will lead collaborative research projects designed to identify, improve, and increase uptake of safe and effective vaccines for infectious illnesses including measles and influenza. These researchers, many with world-renowned reputations, also will lead studies to develop new diagnostic and predictive markers to help providers detect diseases early and predict the effectiveness of inoculation. Additional studies will focus on making novel vaccines for nonviral and nonmicrobial illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune diseases, opioid use disorder, cancers, and other chronic conditions.

Infectious disease research, prevention, and patient care are well established in the history of NYU Langone Health. In the 19th century, Bellevue Hospital was the site of the Carnegie Laboratory, the first laboratory for bacteriology in the United States, shortly after the first discovery of bacteria as agents of disease. More recently, former NYU faculty made major contributions toward the development of both of the effective human malaria vaccines. Physicians in the NYU Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology were among the first to identify the initial signs of the global AIDS epidemic. This prestigious tradition continues with current research concentrations on tuberculosis, Staphylococcus aureus, and HIV. 

About Dr. Mulligan

For more than three decades, Dr. Mulligan has been an international leader in infectious disease research programs. He oversees research and clinical operations in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, as well as the Vaccine Center at NYU Langone Health.

Before coming to NYU Langone, Dr. Mulligan held several positions at Emory University, including associate division director for clinical and translational research in the Division of Infectious Diseases; and executive director of the Hope Clinic, the clinical arm of the Emory Vaccine Center. In those roles, he focused both on vaccine clinical trials, and on immune system studies that yielded vaccine candidates.

“Dr. Mulligan has a proven record of success when it comes to leadership in vaccine research,” says Steven Abramson, MD, senior vice president and vice dean for education, faculty and academic affairs. “This new vaccine center will integrate that leadership with our already outstanding faculty, keeping NYU Langone on the cutting-edge and fighting against devastating infectious diseases.”

The Vaccine Center has locations across several NYU Langone Health facilities, including an inpatient research unit at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn, a research clinic at Schwartz Health Center, and laboratory space in the Medical Science Building at NYU Langone Health.

Additional information, news, and resources are available at the Vaccine Center website.