Athens, Ga. – Dr. Zhen Fang Fu, a rabies researcher in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, will collaborate with Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson Medical College and several other institutions to test a curative vaccine for Rabies Virus, or RV, that could be administered late in the disease process. Fu’s work will be funded by a $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health.
“More than 10 million people are bitten by a rabid or suspected rabid animal each year and require post-exposure treatment,” said Fu. “People who have been bitten must seek post-exposure treatment immediately, because there is no cure nor any interventional therapies for rabies once clinical symptoms of the disease are present.”
Worldwide, more than 55,000 people die from rabies each year. According to the World Health Organization, the disease is prevalent in more than 150 countries and territories.
The total NIH award is $4,850,126 over five years.It will be shared with the University of Georgia, Medical College of Wisconsin, the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, and Thomas Jefferson University.
The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, to conducting research related to animal and human diseases, and to providing veterinary services for animals and their owners.Research efforts are aimed at enhancing the quality of life for animals and people, improving the productivity of poultry and livestock, and preserving a healthy interface between wildlife and people in the environment they share.The college enrolls 102 students each fall out of more than 560 who apply.For more information, see www.vet.uga.edu.