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 Vaccine Development Unit

The goal of this unit is to serve the purposes of national and international research in virology ‎and vaccine development field with a focus on viral pathogens that are of importance and relevance to the national public ‎health. The unit focuses on vaccine development from the bench in vitro evaluation to animal ‎testing and human clinical trials. Vaccines against MERS-CoV are among the priority of this unit ‎with collaborations from a number of international institutes to further evaluate a number of ‎MERS-CoV vaccines in animals and humans. Different vaccine platforms are under ‎developments in the unit such as DNA vectors, adenoviral vectors and poxviral vectors. These ‎platforms are being utilized to develop vaccines against viral and bacterial pathogens relevant to ‎the national public health.‎ The unit also conducts and supports immunology, serology and genetic research that are related to vaccine development.

  • To serve as national public health research lab for infectious diseases and cancer vaccines.
  • To develop vaccines against nationally important pathogens (such as MERS-CoV) or emerging pathogens (such as COVID-19).
  • To support clinical trials for vaccine development.
  • To support animal testing for vaccine development.
  • To provide vaccine R&D platforms and technologies.
  • To enhance research on BSL3 pathogens that have importance for vaccine development.
  • To further support vaccinology related research, such as:
    • New rapid diagnostic techniques and technologies.
    • New therapeutics for emerging pathogens.
    • Immunology research of emerging pathogens in humans and animals.
    • Enhancing our understanding of viral diseases and vaccine development.
  • To support postgraduate student in the field of vaccinology (immunology and virology).​

  • Serological testing for MERS-CoV
  • DNA cloning for vaccine viral vectors.​

Main Focus Projects

  • Evaluation of MERS vaccines in camels
  • Evaluation of MERS vaccines in phase I clinical trials
  • Development of new vaccines for MERS
  • Development of new vaccines for COVID-19
  • National serological testing for MERS-CoV
  • National serological testing for COVID-19

Notable Collaborative Projects

  • Elucidating immune responses in chronic diseased COVD-19 patients
  • Immunological characterization of COVID patients
  • Immunological characterization of MERS patient in therapeutic clinical trials
  • Cancer cell vaccines
  • MERS Therapeutic and Diagnostic Approaches
  • Antimicrobial peptides for treatment of MERS
  • Sero-epidemiology study on MERS among camel contacts

Current Postgraduate Projects

  • Molecular and serological evaluation of MERS-CoV in Dromedary Camels at Slaughterhouses in Riyadh
  • Construction of multivalent MVA viral vector vaccine development​