Scientists aim for single flu and pneumonia vaccine

July 2nd, 2012
University of Adelaide researchers will team with industry to develop a single vaccine for both influenza and pneumonia, in the hope of saving millions of lives around the world each year.

The project is one of 11 major new research projects at the University of Adelaide to win funding from the Federal Government today, totalling more than $3.6 million.

The funding - from the Australian Research Council's Linkage Projects scheme - has been awarded for outstanding research projects in partnership with industry and government.

Professor James Paton (School of Molecular and Biomedical Science) and industry partner Gamma Vaccines Pty Ltd have been awarded $276,000 to develop a single vaccine that provides long-lasting protection against the flu and pneumonia.

"Right across the world, the influenza virus and the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) individually cause serious illness and death from acute respiratory infections. However, these two pathogens can also combine and synergise with each other to create a deadly super-infection," says Professor Paton, who is Director of the University's Research Centre for Infectious Diseases.

"For example, more than half of the 50 million deaths that occurred during the 1918-19 flu pandemic were directly attributable to pneumococcal super-infection."

Professor Paton and his colleagues aim to develop a single vaccine capable of providing broad-based protection against both of these pathogens.

"This project is an excellent example of the University of Adelaide working with industry to achieve great benefits for the community," says the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks.

"Much of our research effort is directed at critical global challenges facing our society. These include improved human health, food security, a sustainable environment, and renewable energy, among others.

"This is outstanding work that is being conducted right here at our University, which has the potential to produce tangible benefits for millions of people the world over," Professor Brooks says.

The other new Linkage Projects at the University of Adelaide funded today are:

From organo-mineral nanocomposite to Australian basins; an integrated approach to unconventional gas exploration and development.$750,000 awarded to a team led by Professor Martin Kennedy (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources) in partnership with Santos Ltd, SA Department of Primary Industries and Resources, JRS Petroleum Research, Central Petroleum Ltd, and Petrofrontier (Australia) Pty Ltd.

An integrated tool for informing pest management: modelling range shifts for an invasive vertebrate in response to climate change.$575,000 awarded to a team led by Dr Damien Fordham (Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity - Environment Institute) in partnership with Biosecurity SA, WA Department of Agriculture and Food, and NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Scalable classification for massive datasets: randomised algorithms.$510,000 awarded to a team led by Professor Anton van den Hengel (School of Computer Science and Australian Centre for Visual Technologies) in partnership with LBT Innovations Ltd.

Bad tastes, odours and toxins in our drinking water reservoirs: are benthic cyanobacteria the culprits?$465,000 awarded to a team led by Associate Professor Justin Brookes (Water Research Centre - Environment Institute) in partnership with SA Water Corporation, Water Quality Research Australia Ltd, Sydney Catchment Authority and National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan.

Evolution and biogeography of Australian idiopid trapdoor spiders: implications for conservation biology and environmental assessment.$276,368 awarded to a team led by Professor Andy Austin (Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity - Environment Institute) in partnership with Western Australian Museum, South Australian Museum, BHP Billiton Iron Ore Pty Ltd, Pilbara Iron Company (Services) Pty Ltd and Biota Environmental Sciences Pty Ltd.

Root distribution and salinity and soil water dynamics in a chenopod shrubland: implications for restoration ecology.$200,500 awarded to a team led by Associate Professor Jose Facelli (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources) in partnership with Iluka Resources Ltd.

Green cool wine: solar powered solid adsorption refrigeration system with ice storage to provide cooling capability for wine industry.$195,000 awarded to a team led by Associate Professor Eric Hu (School of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources) in partnership with Orlando Wyndham Group Pty Ltd.

Identifying cost-effective reforestation approaches for biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration in southern Australia.$180,000 awarded to a team led by Professor Corey Bradshaw (Environment Institute) in partnership with SA Department of Environment And Natural Resources, Zoos SA and Australian Flora Foundation.

Public and ethical responses to mandated alcohol warning labels about increased long-term risk of cancer.$116,609 awarded to a team led by Dr Emma Miller (School of Population Health and Clinical Practice) in partnership with Cancer Council Australia, and Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia.

High power density, low cogging torque and low-cost micro-scale wind turbine generator system utilising soft magnetic composite materials.$97,653 awarded to a team led by Associate Professor Nesimi Ertugrul (School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources) in partnership with Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions Pty Ltd.

Provided by University of Adelaide

This Phys.org Science News Wire page contains a press release issued by an organization mentioned above and is provided to you “as is” with little or no review from Phys.Org staff.

More news stories

Sculpting stable structures in pure liquids

Oscillating flow and light pulses can be used to create reconfigurable architecture in liquid crystals. Materials scientists can carefully engineer concerted microfluidic flows and localized optothermal fields to achieve ...

Researchers make coldest quantum gas of molecules

JILA researchers have made a long-lived, record-cold gas of molecules that follow the wave patterns of quantum mechanics instead of the strictly particle nature of ordinary classical physics. The creation of this gas boosts ...

Quantum dots can spit out clone-like photons

In the global quest to develop practical computing and communications devices based on the principles of quantum physics, one potentially useful component has proved elusive: a source of individual particles of light with ...