Flu vaccine research recognized by Vaccine Society

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Jan. 6, 2012

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Holly Korschun
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Bali Pulendran, PhD, led an investigation into how immune responses to seasonal flu shots can be predicted through a quick blood test.

A research paper by Emory Vaccine Center scientists has earned the “Paper of the Year” award from the International Society for Vaccines.

The paper describes a method for predicting whether someone will produce high levels of antibodies against a flu shot, based on a scan of gene activity in the blood a few days after vaccination. The method is based on studies of human volunteers who were vaccinated during flu seasons in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The society's nomination statement calls the paper a "landmark study" that "highlights one of the ways for the future of vaccinology." The International Society for Vaccines is an association of vaccine researchers that promotes progress in the field and organizes an annual conference on vaccine development. 

“Systems biology of vaccination for seasonal influenza in humans” was published by the journal Nature Immunology in July. The senior author was Bali Pulendran, PhD, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

The first author was postdoctoral fellow Helder Nakaya. Co-authors include Jens Wrammert, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Emory University School of Medicine, and Rafi Ahmed, PhD, director of the Emory Vaccine Center and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.