The COVID-19 pandemic continues to massively impact health and economies across the globe. The development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine is crucial to prevent future outbreaks and protect our most vulnerable populations.

As part of the global effort to identify safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, MIRC’s Dr. Zhou Xing is leading a multi-disciplinary team at McMaster to rapidly develop innovative recombinant viral-vectored COVID-19 vaccine strategies. The vaccines they are developing are particularly distinctive as they directly target respiratory mucosal immunity via an inhaled aerosol vaccine delivery method. The team, including co-PIs Dr. Brian Lichty and Dr. Fiona Smaill, and co-investigators Dr. Matthew Miller, Dr. Karen Mossman, Dr. Maria Medina, Dr. Yonghan Wan, Dr. Amy Gillgrass, and Dr. Gail Gauvreau, has received funding support totalling $1.92 million from the CIHR for the project.

Dr. Xing and his team will utilise their renowned expertise in translational vaccine research, including advanced viral vector bioengineering, BSL3 animal testing, clinical-grade vaccine production at GMP manufacturing facility, optimized inhaled aerosol vaccine delivery method, and clinical vaccine trials. This distinguished team of investigators, many of whom are MIRC faculty, are confident they will be able to produce a vaccine strategy capable of potent respiratory mucosal protection against COVID-19.

This article is part of a series highlighting research being conducted at MIRC as part of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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