Kayvon Modjarrad is out to win the war against this pandemic—and the next one.
An emerging infectious diseases researcher with the U.S. Army, Dr. Modjarrad is pursuing a vaccine to protect against a range of coronaviruses that cause disease in humans—including Covid-19 variants that might elude today’s vaccines.
The goal is to prevent the next new one from spreading around the globe. Such a shot might even stop coronaviruses that cause some common colds. His research team is one of roughly 20 groups around the world working on so-called universal, or pan-coronavirus, vaccines: shots that would block many related viruses at once, including ones that have yet to infect anyone.
After years of battling Ebola, Zika, H1N1 pandemic flu, and other new pathogens, Dr. Modjarrad and other emerging disease experts say they want to have a vaccine in hand to blunt the next new pathogen to come along, whatever it may be.
“It’s our way out not just of this pandemic but this cycle of epidemics,” said Dr. Modjarrad, director of the emerging-infectious-diseases branch of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Md.
Contact Jay Allen at [email protected]