Jan 18, 2022

UW–Madison researchers lead effort to create a universal coronavirus vaccine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Viruses can be wily adapters, changing their identities to find new hosts and thwart efforts to stop them. That’s why University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and their collaborators are making progress toward developing universal vaccines against some the planet’s most harmful pathogens, including the virus family responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last fall, the National Institutes of Health announced it was investing in three teams working to develop a vaccine that would simultaneously work against a broad range of coronaviruses. Among them is a research collaboration, the Pan-Coronavirus Vaccine consortium, led by UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine Professor of Pathobiological Sciences Yoshihiro Kawaoka.

“This pan-coronavirus vaccine is basically preparing for the future,” Kawaoka says.

If the world already had a pan-coronavirus vaccine in March 2020, it could have served as a mitigation tool until vaccines specific to SARS-CoV-2 could be developed.

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