St. Jude Experts Available to Discuss H7N9 Avian Influenza
Virologists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are available to offer insight on the avian influenza A H7N9 strain and other issues related to flu and surveillance. St. Jude is producing seed stock for an H7N9 vaccine, critical to dealing with the growing threat posed by H7N9. The hospital is the only non-government center within the World Health Organization (WHO) system making this vaccine seed stock in the United States.
Experts Available:Richard J. Webby, Ph.D., directs the WHO collaborating center at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is a faculty member in the hospital’s Infectious Diseases department. Webby’s research focuses on how influenza viruses in birds and animals infect humans, which can occur directly or when the virus jumps from the source to a species able to transmit it to people. He is also interested in the production and storage of viruses, reagents and technologies to facilitate rapid characterization and the exchange of flu-related information. Webby helped to develop the reverse genetics technique that is now widely used in flu vaccine development.
Stacey L. Schultz-Cherry, Ph.D., is the deputy director of the WHO collaborating center at St. Jude and is an associate member in the hospital’s Infectious Diseases department. Shultz-Cherry’s research interests include influenza virus pathogenesis, novel vaccines and therapeutics, and microbial co-infections.
About St. Jude Influenza Research St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is home to the only WHO collaborating center focused on the transmission of animal influenza viruses to humans. It is one of six Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the National Institutes of Health. The St. Jude faculty includes world renowned infectious disease researchers.