|03.03.17 - Trudeau Institute Researchers Receive NIH Funding to study Immunity in the Elderly, a two-year award from the National Institute on Aging
SARANAC LAKE, New York – Trudeau Institute faculty member Marcia A. Blackman, Ph.D., and assistant faculty member William W. Reiley, Ph.D., have been awarded a two-year grant of $544,500 from the National Institute on Aging (a division of the National Institutes of Health) for their project, “An Improved Mouse Model for Aging Immunology.”
Improving vaccine efficacy, specifically for the elderly, is among the Trudeau Institute’s strategic objectives.
Dr. Blackman’s laboratory studies the impact of aging on immunity using an experimental mouse model, while Dr. Reiley’s laboratory studies define how T cell immunities are generated and maintained during acute and persistent infections. Presently, mice aged under laboratory conditions do not faithfully mimic elderly humans who have experienced a variety of acute and chronic infections. In order to develop a more faithful model of human aging, Blackman and Reiley propose to sequentially infect mice with several acute and chronic viruses and parasites during their lifespans. These studies will advance our understanding of the impact of accumulating antigen experience during aging on immunity and immune senescence, resulting in a more robust experimental model for developing improved vaccination strategies for the elderly.
After receiving notification of the award, Dr. Blackman commented: “In these times of tight funding, we are particularly grateful to the NIH for research funding. As the world’s population ages, it is important to determine the mechanisms underlying declining immunity so we can develop improved vaccination strategies for the elderly.”
“I am delighted that Dr. Blackman’s and Dr. Reiley’s important research efforts are being recognized as both cutting-edge and timely by the National Institutes of Health, as they clearly deserve this recognition,” said Dr. Atsuo Kuki, President and Director of the Trudeau Institute.
Dr. Blackman obtained her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, did her postdoctoral fellowship at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colo., and established her first Research laboratory at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. She relocated her research laboratory to the Trudeau Institute in1999.
Dr. Reiley received his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Pennsylvania State University in 2005. He came to the Trudeau Institute in August 2006 as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. David Woodland. In 2010, Dr. Reiley was promoted to Research Scientist and continued his work under the supervision of Dr. Woodland and Dr. Andrea Cooper. In 2013, Dr. Reiley was appointed to an independent position as an Assistant Member at the Trudeau Institute.
About the Trudeau Institute
The Trudeau Institute is a nonprofit biomedical research center founded in 1884 by Dr. E.L. Trudeau. The Institute deploys specialized expertise in pernicious pathogens and immunity to advance infectious disease translational science focusing on vaccines, treatments and cures for many life-threatening diseases, including cancer, tuberculosis and influenza. The Institute is supported by federal and state grants and contributions from individuals, private foundations and corporations. For further information about the Trudeau Institute, go to www.trudeauinstitute.org.