Vaccines are complex biologics made from living organisms. Vaccines to prevent disease work by exposing the immune system to a tiny amount of pathogen (disease-causing organism) such as a virus, bacteria or parasite that has been damaged or killed so it cannot cause disease. This exposure teaches the immune system to defend itself against the pathogen by creating an immune response. Therapeutic vaccines, to treat diseases such as cancer, are also being researched and developed.
Vaccine research covers a wide spectrum from cellular or ‘bench’ research to program and policy development.
At the CCfV, research is organized into three groups:
- Vaccine Discovery – bench research
- Vaccine Evaluation – from clinical trials to program assessment
- Health Policy and Translation – examining issues of vaccine access, acceptability, ethics and policy development