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Flu News Friday, 3/18/2022

Read the latest on influenza vaccines and upcoming funding opportunities in this week’s roundup.

March 2022

NIAID’s Pandemic Preparedness Plan

NIAID. (2022, March 2). Peruse NIAID’s Pandemic Preparedness Plan. NIAID Funding News. Retrieved March 2022

NIAID continues to promote their Pandemic Preparedness Plan, an agenda designed to mitigate threats such as pandemic influenza. Priority pathogens, including influenza, are considered alongside prototype pathogens (representative viral families with pandemic potential) to best prepare for future outbreaks. Read more about the goal to address research, infrastructure and technology gaps so scientists can identify pathogens prior to their emergence and shorten the time between pathogen discovery and approval of medical countermeasures.

Read the full article here
February 2022

Viral interference between respiratory viruses

Piret, J., & Boivin, G. (2022). Viral interference between respiratory viruses. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 28(2), 273–281.

Known as viral interference, the severity and replication of viruses are likely influenced by other co-infections. For example, multiple studies report that an epidemic of rhinovirus (HRV) in 2009 may have delayed the circulation of H1N1 in certain European countries, while other studies suggest a negative virus-virus interaction with the presence of HRV providing a protective effect against subsequent influenza infection. Understanding viral interference may improve public health estimates and future vaccine adjuvants; read more or listen to an Emerging Infectious Diseases CDC interview with study author Dr. Guy Boivin below.

Click here for the podcast link or the link below for the full article.

Read the full article here
February 2022

Influenza and the Holy Grail Vaccine

King, A. (2022, February 28). Influenza and the Holy Grail Vaccine. Vaccines from Technology Networks. Retrieved March 2022

As influenza vaccine research continues, discoveries from the COVID-19 pandemic can be leveraged towards universal influenza vaccines, the holy grail of influenza pandemic preparedness and prevention. Featuring Kim Roberts, Rebecca Cox, Florian Krammer, Sunetra Gupta, Matthew Memoli, Elly Gaunt, and the Influenza Vaccines R&D Roadmap (IVR), this article provides a succinct summary of influenza vaccine research currently underway. Read about these advances here.

Read the full article here
February 2022

Librator: a platform for the optimized analysis, design, and expression of mutable influenza viral antigens

Li, L., Changrob, S., Fu, Y., Stovicek, O., Guthmiller, J. J., McGrath, J. J., Dugan, H. L., Stamper, C. T., Zheng, N.-Y., Huang, M., Wilson, P. (2022). Librator: A platform for the optimized analysis, design, and expression of mutable influenza viral antigens. Briefings in Bioinformatics.

Librator, a powerful new sequencing tool, can be used to rapidly analyze influenza virus protein sequences, visualize antigen structures, design custom antigens, and more. As a result, Librator effectively eliminates the routine manual entry of data into multiple programs, improving accuracy and saving future influenza investigators hours of time. Learn more about the application of Librator in synthesizing recombinant influenza antigens or download Librator for free here.

Read the full article here
March 2022

Induction of broadly reactive influenza antibodies increases susceptibility to autoimmunity

Labombarde, J. G. et al. (2022). Induction of broadly reactive influenza antibodies increases susceptibility to autoimmunity. Cell Reports, 38(10), 1-16.

To make safe, effective and long-lasting universal influenza vaccines, influenza investigators seek to better understand broadly reactive antibodies. Recent findings address this knowledge gap as data suggests that broadly reactive influenza antibodies can exacerbate certain models of autoimmunity. Understanding why self-tolerance mechanisms limit these broadly reactive influenza antibodies helps researchers define and therefore address the scientific challenges to creating a universal influenza vaccine. Learn more here.

Read the full article here

Funding Opportunities & Announcements

  • Knowledge transfer partnerships: 2022 to 2023, round one (Link) [Grant] Innovate UK / February 18, 2022 / April 6, 2022

  • Molecular Foundations for Biotechnology (MFB): Partnerships to Transform Emerging Industries (link) [Grant]                                       National Science Foundation / January 19, 2022 / April 14, 2022

  • Clinical research training fellowship (Link) [Fellowship]         Medical Research Council / February 11, 2022 / April 6, 2022

  • Clinician scientist fellowship (Link) [Fellowship]                                     Medical Research Council / February 11, 2022 / April 6, 2022

  • Scientific Exchange Grants (Link) [Grant]                                          EMBO / Applications accepted throughout the year.

  • Apply for Mini-Funds to Encourage Open Science Practices in Influenza Research [Link] [Grants]                                                                           Center for Open Science and Flu Lab / Open