Joaquin Castro

05/08/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/08/2018 10:12

Castro Announces $388K for UTSA Infectious Diseases Vaccine Research

Washington, D.C.-Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, announced $387,707 of federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support the development of a multivalent vaccine against Coccidioides infection:

'An estimated 150,000 Americans become infected with Coccidioides annually. Often linked with severe acute pneumonia, there is an urgent need to develop better chemotherapies and vaccinations against this particular infection. I welcome the HHS funding for University of Texas at San Antonio's (UTSA) South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, which focuses on fungal infections with the Coccidioides species. San Antonio continues to lead in medicine development with groundbreaking research, and this grant will help boost wellness and quality of life for Americans across Texas and our nation.'

The grant was awarded to UTSA to support research by Dr. Chiung-Yu Hung, in the Department of Biology. Dr. Hung's lab studies host-pathogen interactions and focuses on fungal infections with the Coccidioides species. These fungi are present in the soil of the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico and Central and South America. Dr. Hung's research seeks to optimize protective efficacy and delineate immune mechanisms of a newly developed multivalent vaccine against coccidioidomycosis. The grant is projected to run from May 8, 2018 to April 30, 2023.

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