Honors & News
December 30, 2010
Golisano Children's Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) has been awarded a five-year grant for nearly $2 million by the National Institutes of Health, as part of the Child Health Research Centers program. The program, aimed at establishing and growing centers of excellence in pediatric research, will fund basic science training for junior faculty members in pediatric subspecialty areas.
One scholar in particular that will enroll in the program during its first year is Kristin M. Scheible, M.D., Senior Instructor in Neonatology and Pediatrics and current member of Dr. David Topham's lab. The enrolled junior investigators will spend 75 percent of their time conducting research in their specialty areas. The program will help them cultivate research within their area of expertise, develop analytical and practical skills to understand and treat developmental diseases in children and establish themselves as ethically and scientifically sound clinical researchers.
November 10, 2010
Flu viruses are a great threat, whether they stem from Mother Nature or are modified by human hands to create a deadly bioweapon. The University of Rochester Medical Center will tackle both scenarios head on with a five-year contract, totaling approximately $11.9 million, from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The contract will further research into how we can use computer modeling to find ways of boosting human immune responses against and identify new areas of investigation into treatments for a variety of potentially lethal viruses.
Rochester has a long-standing clinical infrastructure and an outstanding track record in vaccine research. Now, we are building on this expertise, taking vaccine research into the twenty-first century by applying mathematical and computational approaches,said David Topham, Ph.D., co-director of the New York Influenza Center of Excellence (NYICE) and an expert on how the body fights the flu.
There is also tremendous collaboration and cross pollination among researchers and between programs – another reason why we are able to conduct complicated clinical studies that many other universities would have a hard time doing.
August 1, 2010
Nearly 200 researchers from around the world have convened in Rochester this week to discuss new insights into flu. The meeting is the fourth annual for the National Institutes of Health's Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) consortium. This is the first meeting to be hosted by URMC, whose New York Influenza Center of Excellence (NYICE) was established in 2007 thanks to a seven-year, $26 million NIH contract.
The NIH has charged its CEIRS centers with the twin goals of helping make seasonal influenza and future influenza pandemics less deadly,said John Treanor, M.D., chief of URMC's Infectious Disease Division. Treanor co-directs URMC's center together with David Topham, Ph.D., an associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology.
People think we know more about the flu than we actually do,said Topham.
It's amazing how little we actually understand. Meetings like this are a critical venue for exchanging insights that grow our body of knowledge.
June 21, 2010
A half million dollars in federal stimulus funds bought high-tech filtration and decontamination equipment to safely conduct bird flu virus experiments involving mice at University of Rochester Medical Center.
This will enhance the university's ability to remain competitive in attracting research funding and conducting important health-related research,said David Topham, Ph.D., a URMC researcher and co-director of the New York Influenza Center of Excellence (NYICE) at URMC. The equipment allows testing the effectiveness of bird flu vaccines, including testing vaccinated mice.
June 12, 2010
Scientists have uncovered the flu's secret formula for effectively evolving within and between host species: balance. The key lies with the flu's unique replication process, which has evolved to produce enough mutations for the virus to spread and adapt to its host environment.
These new findings give us insights into how we may be able to control viral evolution,said Baek Kim, Ph.D., professor in the department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and lead study author.
The perception has always been that the flu virus mutates a lot, and in order to do that it has to have an enzyme that makes a lot of mistakes, but Kim's work shows that is not the case at all,said David Topham, Ph.D., associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Rochester and an expert on how the body fights the flu.
March 31, 2010
A new Japanese study outlines the molecular and cellular reasons why some flu vaccines work better than others and could point the way to better protection with fewer side effects.
Split-virus flu vaccines are used in the United States. The study found that whole-virus vaccines provoke a greater immune response, which has both a good and a bad side, said David Topham, Ph.D., a flu virus expert who is an associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester in New York.
The whole-virus vaccine is reactogenic,meaning that it can cause pain at the site of injection and other side effects, Topham said. The slightly lower immune response produced by a split-virus vaccine is offset by a reduction in side effects, he explained.
February 5, 2010
After nearly a year of headlines, worry and confusion, the H1N1 swine flu virus is now out of the news. Is it out of circulation as well? The latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds no states reporting widespread influenza activity and only five reporting regional activity.
It certainly seems to have died down in this country. It's gone very quiet,confirmed David Topham, co-director of the New York Influenza Center of Excellence and associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Topham went on to say,
I'm pretty confident that this virus is here to stay with us. It will become one of the seasonal influenzas we'll have to contend with,he said.
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- Influenza A Virus Attenuation by Codon Deoptimization of the NS Gene for Vaccine Development. J Virol. 88, 10525-40. (2014 Sep 15).
- Induction of CD8 T Cell Heterologous Protection by a Single Dose of Single-cycle Infectious Influenza Virus. J Virol. In press. (2014 Aug 06).