mRNA vaccine development against opportunistic human pathogenic fungi

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Plan information
Project Term: 2023-2028
Budget: About NT$3.3 million

Origin: The Tang Prize is awarded on a biennial basis, each with a cash reward of NT$40 million. Projects proposed by the laureates also receive a grant of up to NT$10 million. The 2022 grant for Biopharmaceutical Science is shared between Dr. Katalin Kariko, Dr. Drew Weissman and Dr. Pieter Cullis.

Project Summary: In the current proposal, we aim to introduce a potentially novel mode of combat against opportunistic pathogenic fungal infections. Specifically, to design, develop, validate, and extensively characterize mRNA-based anti-Candida and anti-Mucor vaccines. Hereby, we aim to (i) in silico identify potentially effective anti-Candida and anti-Mucor vaccine targets, to (ii) manufacture selected mRNA vaccine candidates, to (iii) verify their effectiveness in vivo and to (iv) assess their mode of action through in vitro characterization. Depending on the progression of the project, we also aim to v) examine the effectiveness of combined anti-Candida and anti-Mucor mRNA vaccines, as universal mRNA vaccines.