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Combating Worldwide Epidemics, Saving Lives

A World Leader in Vaccines and Global Health

A myriad of viruses and bacteria are responsible for human diseases worldwide. These organisms are constantly mutating, greatly complicating efforts to counteract them. The need for new defenses against these diseases is pressing.

Vaccines in particular continue to hold promise for protecting against current and emerging threats. Current vaccines save an estimated 2.5 million lives every year. In the past two decades, immunization has prevented over 20 million deaths worldwide.

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is a world leader in vaccines and global health. TSRI has already been selected as a Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery and the home of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) Neutralizing Antibody Center. Scientists at TSRI are close to significant breakthroughs and are poised to develop new vaccines and other interventions to save lives worldwide. Please join us as we change the course of world health!

Global, Deadly Scourges

  • While influenza can be relatively mild, it can also be deadly – especially for the elderly, infants and people with some chronic diseases; the virus also harbors the potential for causing global pandemics such as the four that have struck in the last 100 years. While flu vaccines exist, they only protect against the strains most common in a single season, so vaccines must be re-administered every year.
  • An estimated 1.1 million people in the US and 34 million people worldwide currently live with HIV. Drugs now enable many patients to manage HIV as a chronic disease, however in addition to undesirable side effects, they are typically expensive and are not available to many in developing countries.
  • Approximately 170 million people worldwide have chronic hepatitis C, generally thought to be the most serious hepatitis infection. Many people are unaware they have the disease until liver damage appears. There is no vaccine against hepatitis C.
  • Ebola hemorrhagic fever, caused by the Ebola virus, is one of the most virulent diseases known to humans; the fatality rate can be up to 90% depending on which strain is involved. There is no treatment aside from administering fluids.
  • One third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis. In 2012, 1.3 million died from the disease, making TB second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide among single infectious agents. While a vaccine is available, it is not very effective and worrisome drug- resistant TB has been identified in 84 countries.

The Need for Philanthropy

Despite the huge potential of research on vaccines and other interventions to alter the course of millions of lives in the US and around the world, federal funding for basic biomedical research has been declining in real dollars. What is especially important for scientific breakthroughs are high-risk, high-reward endeavors – the kind that are particularly difficult to fund through conventional government grants. Greatly expanded private support is needed to find new vaccines. As funding for vital research dwindles, we need your help!

Our Initiatives

TSRI cultivates an interdisciplinary spirit where virologists, biologists, chemists and others work hand-in-hand toward the common goal of developing groundbreaking vaccines and other therapies. Scientists specializing in a variety of approaches come together to tackle diseases that affect the health of millions around the world today and impact the course of some of the biggest health threats of tomorrow.

Your support will enable us to expand personnel in critical areas and upgrade laboratories and provide new cutting-edge equipment, so scientists can find breakthroughs in vaccine design in the shortest time feasible. The aims are to:

  • Create an HIV vaccine, which would represent a huge leap forward in the fight against AIDS.
  • Make possible a “universal” flu vaccine that could ward off virtually all strains of flu and be effective for life with a single dose.
  • Better understand viruses such as hepatitis C and Ebola to lay the foundation for new approaches to better treatment and prevention.
  • Achieve progress against multidrug-resistant organisms, including tuberculosis (TB).

Our Discoveries

Future discoveries will build on a strong record of breakthroughs at TSRI, including, to name only a few:

  • Discovering and characterizing antibodies that target critical sites of vulnerability on a variety of viruses—including HIV, influenza and hepatitis C.
  • Describing the mechanisms of action of important Ebola virus proteins, providing potential new targets for drugs.
  • Developing the first screening method that rapidly identifies individuals with active river blindness, a parasitic disease that afflicts an estimated 37 million people.
  • Discovering a promising new compound that attacks TB in two different ways.

Please Join Us in the Fight for Vaccines and Cures

If you’re concerned about global health, you know that every new discovery is crucial in the effort to cure widespread and destructive diseases. Gifts of all sizes are needed to bring people around the world better health. Let’s work together to make the next breakthrough a reality. Make a tax-deductible gift to TSRI and make a difference today!

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Associate Professor Hyeryun Choe leads a project to understand a category of viruses that includes dengue fever, a tropical disease that has affected parts of Florida. 

Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire studies hemorrhagic fever viruses, including Ebola, Lassa and Marburg—three infamous pathogens known for spreading quickly and killing up to 90 percent of infected individuals. Read More.


Roberto Baccala, PhD
Dennis Burton, PhD
Kate Carroll, PhD
Frank Chisari, MD
Hyeryun Choe, PhD
Juan Carlos de la Torre, PhD
John Elder, PhD
Michael Farzan, PhD
Nathalie Franc, PhD
Kim Janda, PhD
Corinne Lasmezas, PhD
Mansun Law, PhD
Richard Lerner, MD
Vince Mauro, PhD
Michael McHeyzer-Williams, PhD
Kerri Mowen, PhD
David Nemazee, PhD
Glen Nemerow, PhD
Michael B.A. Oldstone, MD
James Paulson, PhD
Vijay Reddy, PhD
Erica Ollmann Saphire, PhD
William Schief, PhD
Anette Schneemann, PhD
Peter Schultz, PhD
Ryan Shenvi, PhD
Timothy Tellinghuisen, PhD
Luc Teyton, MD, PhD
Susana Valente, PhD
Andrew Ward, PhD
Richard Wyatt, PhD
J. Lindsay Whitton, MD, PhD
Ian Wilson, DPhil
Changchun Xiao, PhD
Jiang Zhu, PhD
Michael Zwick, PhD


More on the Vaccine and Global Health Initiative (pdf)