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Preventing influenza pandemics- Read our series in Nature Research

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VaxHunt: The Quest to Prevent the Next Pandemic

ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?

2020 ushered in a new generation of virus hunters, so we created VaxHunt, a puzzle hunt game where players can explore one of science’s greatest challenges-universal influenza vaccine discovery.

What is VaxHunt?

The Influenzer VaxHunt is an online game featuring trivia and puzzle challenges where players explore:

  • The threat and history of influenza pandemics
  • Why we need a universal influenza vaccine (UIV)
  • The challenges of developing next-generation influenza vaccines
  • The innovative, transdisciplinary approaches that may unearth the UIV mystery and deliver on its potential

Our experience with COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the ever-present threat an influenza pandemic poses to society. To prevent another pandemic, a universal influenza vaccine is imperative. Now is the time to fuel next-generation vaccine innovation by stimulating researchers, tech experts, thought leaders and investors to catalyze novel approaches and technologies. This challenging mission will require scientific breakthroughs, disruptive policy, and a new generation of bold flu fighters to accelerate critical vaccine research and development.

Players who complete all challenges will be entered into a drawing for a Grand Prize of US $500. Please provide a current email address in the sign-up form so we can contact you if selected!

Want to take a deeper dive? Review the game content reference list.

Related Resources

Our Game Development Committee

These researchers generously lent their time and expertise to make VaxHunt an engaging experience. Meet these Influenzers and learn about their work towards next-generation influenza vaccines.

Erasmus Kotey

West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, University of Ghana, Legon

Erasmus is a final year Ph.D. fellow at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, University of Ghana, Legon. His research interests revolve around the immunology of infectious diseases, and he is currently studying the induction of subtype-specific anti-HA antibodies, exploring their potential therapeutic application in the management of influenza.

Erasmus also works as the Laboratory Services Manager at mPharma Ghana, a drug supply and diagnostic organization. Prior to joining mPharma, he worked for nearly 7 years on the surveillance of influenza viruses with a team at Ghana’s National Influenza Centre, within the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

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Daniel Ellis

Institute for Protein Design, University of Washington

A 5th year PhD candidate in the laboratory of Neil King at the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design, Daniel designs vaccines against influenza using protein nanoparticles and structure-based antigen stabilization. In his free time, Daniel enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest wilderness and fostering dogs.

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Leon Bichmann

Institute for Biomedical Informatics, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Leon Bichmann is a PhD Student in applied bioinformatics & peptide vaccines studying mass spectrometry guided immunoinformatics.
Leon is completing his studies at the Institute for Biomedical Informatics in the Department of Computer Science & Immunology at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen.

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