ATLANTA — Jannatul Ruhan Raha, a Translational Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. student in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, won the Anthony Shuker Scientific Poster Award at the Georgia Life Sciences 2023 Summit.
The Georgia Bio Life Sciences Summit Program Committee invited Georgia-based scientists to submit abstracts for this year’s poster session. The opportunity was open to scientists from Georgia-based academia, research institutes and industry, including students and postdoctoral fellows. The poster session, held in November, was designed to help scientists communicate their research to a wide audience in Georgia’s bioscience industry.
Raha was one of four winners of the virtual poster session. Her research is focused on an intranasal vaccine that improves protection against the flu.
The project is titled “Intranasal Vaccination with Multi-subtype Neuraminidase and M2 Ectodomain Virus-like Particle Improves Protection Against Influenza Viruses.” Her research mentor is Dr. Sang-Moo Kang, a professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences.
The flu vaccine requires annual updates because of frequent mutations in a protein on its surface, and protection offered by flu vaccines is insufficient in the event of a mismatched strain. Mucosal immunity is essential to combat respiratory infection, but intramuscular immunizations are unable to achieve this. Intranasal vaccinations, on the other hand, can enhance both mucosal and systemic immunity and offer the advantage of being needle-free.
Raha’s study found that intranasal vaccination with an m-cNA-M2e VLP vaccine improves mucosal immunity and protection against antigenically different influenza virus strains and can offer cross-protection when a mismatched strain emerges, according to the study’s abstract.
This technology is available for licensing through Georgia State’s Office of Technology Transfer & Commercialization.