The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Provides Catalytic Support to the Human Vaccines Project

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John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation support will fund the development of a regulatory and ethics framework for the Project's global scientific studies.

The Human Vaccines Project is pleased to announce support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of its decade-long initiative to decode the human immune system to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies for major infectious diseases and cancers. The grant will enable the Project to catalyze its human immunology-based clinical research program by engaging with key global regulatory agencies and ethicists to create a framework for the execution of rapid and iterative clinical research studies.

Focused on overcoming the primary barriers impeding the development of new vaccines and therapies, the Project brings together some of the world’s leading industrial, nonprofit and academic organizations in a global consortium. Recent technological advances in immune monitoring driven by genomics, systems biology and bioinformatics now offer scientists the ability to understand the human immune system at an unprecedented level. Under its scientific plan, the Project will apply such technologies to run large numbers of targeted clinical research studies to answer specific questions about human immunity, enabling the design of new vaccines and therapies for some of the world’s most pressing diseases.

Such studies, which take place in diverse global populations and generate extensive amounts of data, will need a clear framework for regulatory approval as well as ethics standards around study design, participation, the use of data, as well as working with and educating diverse communities.

“Support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will allow the Project from the start to consider key issues for heterogeneous populations across age, gender, ethnicity and geography, while enabling us to develop model study protocols for review by ethics experts and regulatory agencies,” said Dr. James E. Crowe, Jr., Director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center and scientific lead of the Project’s Human Immunome Program.

Work under this grant will be used to lay the foundation for implementation of the Project’s clinical research program complementing ongoing efforts by other stakeholders, and will be disseminated to the broader community via publications, conferences and other forums.

“Given the rapid pace of technological change in biomedicine, we believe that the Project’s efforts in regulatory and ethics engagement will have the potential to serve as a model for other areas of complex, technology-driven research,” said Ted Schenkelberg, Co-Founder of the Human Vaccines Project. “Such work helps build the framework for how researchers, regulatory agencies and society apply new advances in medical technologies.”

About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at

About the Human Vaccines Project

The Human Vaccines Project is a non-profit public-private partnership with the mission to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major infectious diseases and cancers by decoding the human immune system. The Project, incubated initially at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), has received support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, GSK, Aeras, MedImmune, Sanofi Pasteur, Crucell/Janssen, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Project brings together leading academic research centers, industrial partners, nonprofits and governments to address the primary scientific barriers to developing new vaccines and immunotherapies. The Project has been endorsed by 35 of the world’s leading vaccine scientists. Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is the first of several scientific hubs at leading global academic research centers that will carry out the Human Vaccines Project’s Scientific Plan.

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Ted Schenkelberg
Human Vaccines Project
+1 646.441.0894
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