Center For Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research

Center For Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research

The Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research conducts fundamental research on how the body successfully reacts to vaccines and battles infections and conversely, how infectious pathogens escape immune surveillance.


Modern medicine has made tremendous strides in fighting infectious diseases, but there is much more work to be done. Every year, influenza strikes millions of people, many of them fatally. Whooping cough and measles have made a comeback as the number of people who refuse to vaccinate their children grows. One third of the world’s population is infected with latent tuberculosis. Without treatment, about 5 to 10 percent of infected people will develop TB disease at some time in their lives.

Meanwhile, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is sweeping the globe, taking the lives of hundreds of thousands. La Jolla Institute, one of the leading global organizations dedicated to studying the immune system, is stepping up to provide much needed information and real solutions for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We have launched a multi-lab Coronavirus Taskforce that capitalizes on our competitive advantages of unique skill in infectious disease research, state-of-the-art technology and highly collaborative organization to respond to the current crisis and prepare for future emerging diseases. Our other work on HIV, Ebola, Dengue, Zika, and Cytomegalovirus are further laying the groundwork for developing vaccines for these serious infections.


Chris Benedict, Ph.D.
Shane Crotty, Ph.D.
Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D.
Bjoern Peters, Ph.D.
Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.
Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol.Sci.
Sujan Shresta, Ph.D.

From The Lab

Sep 16, 2020 // Cell

T cells take the lead in controlling SARS-CoV-2 and reducing COVID-19 disease severity

Finding may help explain why people 65 and above face a higher risk of falling critically ill with COVID-19
Aug 27, 2020 // Immunity

Beating HIV and COVID-19 may depend on tweaking vaccine molecules

LJI and Scripps Research scientists tackle the problem of antigen valency
Aug 20, 2020

LJI Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire awarded $6.4 million for international efforts to beat COVID-19

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded more than $6.4 million to Dr. Saphire to support research toward COVID-19 antibody therapeutics.
Aug 18, 2020 // Cell

LJI team gets first-ever look at a rare but vital stem cell in humans

New understanding of immune cell origins may offer cancer and COVID-19 drug targets
Aug 8, 2020 // The Washington Post

Forty percent of people with coronavirus infections have no symptoms. Might they be the key to ending the pandemic?

New research suggests that some of us may be partially protected due to past encounters with common cold coronaviruses