Current Next-Generation Vaccines for COVID-19: The Success and Challenges of mRNA Technology
Project by Polygence alum Harballab
Project outcome was a reseach review exploring next-generation vaccines platforms and future directions.
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Vaccines and immunization serve as the cornerstone of public health. The COVID-19 pandemic mobilized the development of mRNA vaccines, which was expedited by prior research in mRNA technology. Traditional vaccines include recombinant protein vaccines, as well as inactivated viral vaccines, which utilize an inactive or weakened strain of the virus. By contrast, next-generation vaccines take advantage of new technology in nucleic acid, lipid nanoparticle, and viral vector cell delivery. mRNA vaccines are a type of nucleic acid-based next-generation vaccine that provide the genetic code that instructs the cell to produce the protein via direct translation. While traditional vaccine methods have been successful, mRNA technologies pose new opportunities to elicit a stronger immune response, specifically within the context of B and T cell responses. mRNA technology is only continuing to advance, and has future applications in cancer and other infectious diseases. In conclusion, mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 illustrated the potential of mRNA technology, and brought next-generation vaccines to center stage in the discussion of future of vaccine development.
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Immunology, infectious disease, vaccines, antibodies, virology, cancer
Review of mentor
My mentor was extremely helpful in guiding me though the process of completing my project. She was understanding, explained hard concepts, and helped tremendously writing and editing the review.