As a researcher, I am interested in vaccines for common infections that have significant impact on human health. Most of the vaccines I study are related to herpes viruses, rotavirus, norovirus and influenza.
During my fellowship, I became interested in herpes viruses and vaccines. Upon arrival at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, I began investigating the immunobiology of genital herpes infections using animal models. During this time, I also became interested in rotavirus and, along with my colleague Dr. Richard Ward, I examined the epidemiology and immunology of rotavirus infections.
This work led to the development of a live attenuated human rotavirus vaccine, initially named 89-12. After further modification, this vaccine became the GlaxoSmithKline rotavirus vaccine Rotarix, now available in over 100 countries including the United States and the European Union.
Currently, I evaluate vaccines and antivirals for herpes simplex and cytomegalovirus in animals through our National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded contract and industry, as well as in clinical trials through our NIH-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) and industry. We also evaluate vaccines for influenza, avian influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), norovirus and COVID-19 through the VTEU.
As the former Albert Sabin Professor of pediatrics and former director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s, I have published over 300 manuscripts and book chapters on infectious diseases, vaccines and antivirals. The NIH has funded our VTEU site for over 25 years and our animal contract for close to 30 years.
For these accomplishments, I was honored to receive the Stanly Plotkin Award for vaccine research.