Scientists in NIAID’s Division of Intramural Research (DIR) conduct laboratory and clinical research covering a wide range of disciplines related to infectious diseases, immunology and allergy. DIR researchers study all aspects of infectious diseases such as AIDS, malaria, and influenza, including the causative agent, vectors and the human host. They also study prions, the transmissible agents associated with “mad cow” disease and its human form, variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.
In addition, DIR investigators study the cells, antibodies, receptors, proteins and chemicals that compose the immune system. In recent years, research aimed at developing countermeasures against bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases has become an important part of the DIR agenda.
Research discoveries are frequently translated into promising vaccine candidates, treatments or diagnostic procedures that can be evaluated in clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center on the Bethesda campus or at international sites.
The Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC) is dedicated to translating the latest knowledge of disease pathogenesis and immunology into new vaccine strategies, thereby providing safe and effective means to prevent and control human diseases. The primary focus of VRC is to conduct research to develop an effective AIDS vaccine.
The VRC’s research scope is quite broad, encompassing all stages of vaccine development, including basic research, design and development of vaccine candidates; pre-clinical testing; production of vaccine candidates; and conduct of human clinical trials to determine vaccine safety and efficacy.
Progress toward achieving the VRC mission depends upon successful communication and sharing of ideas. Thus, the VRC also emphasizes and promotes a spirit of collaboration and scientific exchange, within the center and within NIH, and with academic, industrial, and clinical scientists within the United States and worldwide.
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