J. Robert Coleman, PhD
Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2013-2015)
State University of New York, Farmingdale, NY
Funded in Partnership with support from the Mary Fuller Russell Research Fund
New Streptococcus Pneumonia Vaccine Would Protect Against All Strains
Streptococcus pneumonia (SP) is the leading cause of bacterial pneumonia in the United States and worldwide. There are two current vaccines for SP—one for adults and one for children. However, each is limited as neither vaccine protects against all 92 strains of SP that have emerged and caused disease in susceptible populations. Dr. Coleman and his team have begun to genetically redesign genes shared by all 92 serotypes to construct a "universal" vaccine to produce a weakened strain that over-expresses "protective" proteins. Some in the pneumococcal field have suggested that a whole-cell/live vaccine approach may be the most promising avenue to achieve 92-serotype protection and their project pursues this approach.