Creating New Knowledge
Developing a Vaccine Against Valley Fever
When Dr. Garry Cole joined UTSA as the Margaret Batts Tobin Endowed Chair in 2005, he had already dedicated years to researching San Joaquin Valley fever—a human respiratory disease found mostly in southwestern regions of United Sates: West Texas, areas adjacent to Tucson and Phoenix, and the San Joaquin Valley of Southern California.
Having worked at the University of Texas at Austin for 25 years followed by 10 years at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, Dr. Cole was delighted to be able to continue his research at the UTSA South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. “I joined UTSA because of Dr. Romo’s commitment to develop the biosciences, and I was truly impressed with the quality of faculty the university had recruited,” he says.
Recently honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his contributions in fungal biology, Dr. Cole, with the help of his students and postdoctoral fellows, is now on the verge of a breakthrough in the development of a vaccine against San Joaquin Valley fever.
Despite the tenfold increase in the number of cases of this respiratory disease since 1997, there are only a few institutions conducting research on Valley Fever. With the financial support of the National Institutes of Health and the Tobin endowment, Dr. Cole and his research team remain optimistic about their progress in defining the nature of vaccine immunity in their animal model of Valley Fever.
“I love what I do. Infectious disease is a challenging field and progress toward achieving the goal of a human vaccine requires dedication and tenacity but the final product is definitely worthy of the effort,” he says.
Give now For every new discovery in labs like Dr. Cole’s, there is new hope for people.