‘The Impact of Science’: Duke University Researchers Help Develop Vaccines and Youth Spirit | News
If the time ever comes when we can really say goodbye to coronavirus as a health concern, Kevin Sanders will be one of the people we have to thank.
Sanders is director of research at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, where his years of work creating a vaccine for the human immunodeficiency virus will help researchers protect people from all coronaviruses now and in the future. Accelerated the lab’s ability to develop vaccines that hope to
Sanders has pushed the boundaries of making an HIV vaccine that has eluded scientists for decades. Although he had some new discoveries in his lab coat pocket by the end of 2019, a then-unknown respiratory virus didn’t disrupt American life.
In the months that followed, lives, institutions and activities changed, including Sanders’ lab, which shifted its focus from HIV to coronaviruses. His discovery of HIV laid the groundwork for rapid advances in coronavirus vaccines.
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“We thought about creating a vaccine with properties that current vaccines lack,” he said.
The first COVID-19 vaccine protected against several viruses, including the original 2019 virus and its variants. Booster Shot has been updated to provide additional protection against other contagious variants that cause serious health problems.
Pfizer and Moderna offer two primary shots and two boosters, while Johnson & Johnson offers one primary and one booster. However, many scientists believe that an endless series of boosters that extend immunity for only a few months is neither practical nor sustainable.
Sanders and his team at DHVI have found a vaccine that may protect against the new coronavirus, building on HIV research.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a senior White House adviser on COVID-19, cited their findings as a potential breakthrough and said his agency would develop human trials. I said I was very interested in pursuing it.
Sanders and his team hope to conduct human trials for both HIV and coronavirus vaccines.
“My approach is to make a lot of progress to the point where I believe we’re pretty close to an effective vaccine,” he said.
DHVI researchers are now working with vaccine manufacturing facilities to prepare the new vaccine for human clinical trials.
Immerse yourself in North Carolina’s scientific community
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, about 100 miles northwest of Durham, Sanders had many ties to North Carolina before becoming DHVI’s director of research.
After high school in Virginia, he attended Davidson College, graduating in 2005 with a major in biology. Davidson, about 20 miles north of Charlotte, reports that about a third of its students in the country are of color. He is 9% black in the school’s class of over 550 students this year.
Throughout his early education, Sanders said that he was usually one of the few students of color in his class and could not find a single person of color who was a scientist. Many of those students were “advised by science,” he said.