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Proof of Concept Award helps move lymphatic filariasis vaccine closer to widespread use




Ramaswamy Kalyanasundaram, DVM, PhD

The UIC Office of Technology Management and Office of the Vice Chancellor of Innovation granted a $50,000 Proof of Concept Award to further develop the LFGuardTM vaccine for lymphatic filariasis developed by Ramaswamy Kalyanasundaram, DVM, PhD, at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford. Dr. Ramaswamy will work with Justin M. Richner, PhD, an assistant professor in the UICOMC Department of Microbiology and Immunology, over a six-month period to develop mRNA vaccines for lymphatic filariasis and dog heartworm infection with milestones critical for commercialization.Lymphatic filariasis is a tropical parasitic infection that affects over 120 million people around the world. The vaccine under development will prevent the parasite from being able to live in a person’s body. It also shows promise for preventing heartworm disease in dogs.

Dr. Ramaswamy is the Michael L. and Susan M. Glasser Professor of Rural Health Professions Education and Research and head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at UICOMR. He was named UIC’s Inventor of the Year in 2020.