VGTI Florida’s Dr. Ted Ross Awarded a $2 Million NIH Sub-Award for Influenza Study

VGTI Florida®
October 2, 2013

VGTI Florida’s Dr. Ted Ross
Awarded a $2 Million NIH Sub-Award for Influenza Study


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – September 12, 2013 – The Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI Florida®) is proud to announce Ted Ross, Ph. D., Program Director of Vaccines and Viral Immunity was awarded a $2 million sub-award grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health to study immune and genetic responses to influenza as we age.  “This study will give us answers that will assist us in understanding the difference between how people of different age groups respond to seasonal flu vaccine”, said Dr. Ted Ross. His research team will be studying the reactions in young children, adults, and the elderly to influenza infection so an improved, more protective flu vaccine can be developed for all age groups.

VGTI Florida is one of four institutions along with the University of Pittsburgh, the lead, Mount Sinai School of Medicine-New York, and University Health Network-Toronto, collaborating on the grant titled “Omics-Based Predictive Modeling of Age-Dependent Outcome to Influenza Infection”.Dr. Ross’ focus in this study is influenza virology, immunology, and the different infection models.

Currently, Dr. Ross’ lab at VGTI Florida is working to understand the mechanisms of influenza infectivity in order to develop effective vaccines for influenza, HIV-1, and emerging disease pathogens, such as Rift Valley Fever virus, West Nile virus and Dengue virus, along with improving the efficacy of vaccines and the development of novel vaccine platforms, including virus-like particles (VLPs) to make vaccines work better.

“This sub-award shows that we are working on diseases of global interest and that we are successful in bringing coveted research dollars to Florida,” said Dr. Richard Jove, director of VGTI Florida.

Influenza is a major public health issue around the world. Seasonal influenza accounts for approximately 20,000 deaths in the U.S. per year and pandemic influenza is a major public health concern. In 2009, infections with a novel H1N1 strain resulted in 274,000 hospitalizations and 12,470 deaths. 1 

# # #


VGTI Florida

The Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI Florida) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding the roles of our immune system and our genes in disease, as well as the development of innovative treatments.  We are in an expansion phase recruiting leading scientists from around the globe to join VGTI Florida where they can work side-by-side targeting infectious disease, cancer, and the impact of an aging immune system.  For more information, please visit www.VGTIFL.org.  VGTI Florida® and Translating Research into Health® are Registered Trademarks of the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida.

Media Contact:

Catherine E. Vorwald
Executive Director
Marketing and Business Development
cvorwald@vgtifl.org
(772) 345-5633

 1 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and National Institutes of Health