One Billion Lives Could Be Touched By TTUHSC Vaccine Grant

Published 04/06 2014 02:53PM

Updated 04/06 2014 03:04PM

Afzal A. Siddiqui, image from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center
Afzal A. Siddiqui, image from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center
LUBBOCK, TX -- The Texas Tech Health Sciences Center has a chance to help 200 million people overcome a deadly disease called schistosomiasis, and also help another 800 million people become vaccinated against it.

Professor Afzal A. Siddiqui, Ph.D., has received a $2,849,281 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for his research and proof of concept trial. Schistosoma is a parasite that infects people through contact with contaminated water.

“Continuing infection causes enlargement of the liver and blood in urine, Siddiqui said. “We see pictures of children from Africa with bulging bellies because of this disease.”

“This vaccine is intended to prevent infections as well as treat existing infection and has the potential to impact the lives of one billion people,” said TTUHSC President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D.

“This will be a vaccine for the world, and it’s being developed by a researcher at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas,” said Chancellor Kent Hance.

Texas Tech HSC said in a written statement, “Although this disease is not seen in the U.S., this should concern everyone.”

TTUHSC said Siddiqui also is funded as a principal investigator by the National Institutes of Health and has obtained more than $4 million in peer-reviewed funding in the past five years.

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