Peter Kasson, MD/Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology and of Biomedical Engineering
William Petri, MD/Ph.D., Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia, Professor of Medicine, Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology, and Pathology
SARS-CoV-2 infects humans via mucosal surfaces to cause COVID-19. Most vaccines in development, however, primarily target systemic immunity. Early successes in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development suggest that these vaccines might protect against clinical disease but not transmission. In order to make a second-generation vaccine that protects against transmission as well as disease, we will leverage experience from studying other mucosal pathogens. We will design a mucosal-targeted vaccine candidate to protect against SARS-CoV-2 and future related viruses. By doing so, we hope to contribute to preventing not only COVID-19 disease in vaccinated individuals but also help interrupt transmission to others.