Campus News

Noted infectious disease researcher to join UGA

One of the nation’s leading infectious disease researchers is joining UGA as its newest Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.

Ted M. Ross, director of the vaccines and viral immunity program at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida, will join the College of Veterinary Medicine Aug. 17 as the GRA Eminent Scholar in Infectious Diseases.

“Dr. Ross has an outstanding record of success in translating his pioneering research into promising new vaccine candidates,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “His expertise complements the University of Georgia’s growing research enterprise in infectious disease and will strengthen the university’s ties to vaccine researchers at other institutions and with Georgia’s economically important life sciences industry.”

Ross’ research focuses on developing and testing vaccines for diseases such as influenza, dengue, respiratory syncytial virus, chikungunya virus, Ebola and HIV/AIDS. The work he began while a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh to create a universal vaccine to protect against all strains of seasonal and pandemic influenza has resulted in a new vaccine platform. In 2012, an agreement was signed between Sanofi Pasteur and the University of Pittsburgh for continued development and commercialization of influenza vaccines based upon this platform.

Ross is conducting his research with nearly $18 million in funding from a variety of federal agencies, foundations and corporate sponsors. He will be the 15th active GRA Eminent Scholar at UGA.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Ross to the GRA Academy of Eminent Scholars,” said Michael Cassidy, president and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance. “Over the past 25 years, GRA and the research universities have built a world-class vaccine research and development enterprise. The addition of Dr. Ross will strengthen Georgia’s national and international standing in groundbreaking vaccine development.”

Ross participates in several vaccine working groups and has published more than 100 papers and book chapters on infectious disease and vaccine development.

“In addition to developing economically important and potentially life-saving vaccines, Dr. Ross will provide our students with unparalleled instruction and mentorship,” said Provost Pamela Whitten. “He is an important addition to a world-class faculty.”

Ross is a Fellow of the International Society for Vaccines, where he serves as treasurer and executive board member, and as chair of the Vaccine and ISV Annual Global Congress.

“I am looking forward to joining the research faculty at the University of Georgia to develop cutting-edge, life-saving vaccines,” Ross said. “We expect to build a critical mass of scientists centered on immunology and vaccines for infectious diseases. Working together with biomedical and infectious disease researchers at UGA and the other leading institutions in the state of Georgia, we will work towards a world-class research community focused on developing the next generation of novel vaccines and immunotherapeutics.”