About Us

Mission Statement

Our mission is to facilitate the development of new vaccines for infectious diseases of global importance.

Who We Are and What We Do

The Center for Immunization Research is comprised of a group of dedicated faculty and staff who work together to carry out its mission.  The Center is directed by Dr. Ruth Karron, Professor of International Health in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

CIR faculty have primary or joint appointments in the Department of International Health, in the School of Public Health and Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine in the School of Medicine.  Our Principal Investigators are experts in the conduct of clinical trials and have served on various boards and committees within their areas of expertise.  The faculty and staff conduct several types of studies to evaluate investigational vaccines and gain generalizable knowledge concerning the behavior of pathogens.

There are three study teams within the CIR:

  • RSVPed Team conducts investigational vaccine research trials in infants and children as well as respiratory virus surveillance in some study participants,
  • Team FIRE (Flavivirus Immunization Research and Education) conducts investigational vaccine research studies for diseases like Dengue Fever, Zika and West Nile
  • MVAC Team (Mucosal Vaccine and Challenge) conducts investigational vaccine studies for ETEC, Shigella, Cholera, Ebola and Influenza as well as challenge studies.

The Center also has administrative and regulatory teams that provide centralized administrative and regulatory support for study teams.

Each study team conducts early phase trials that evaluate the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of investigational vaccines.  Our challenge studies (conducted with adult participants) help to characterize the virulence of wild-type viruses and to determine the efficacy of vaccines and antiviral agents.  We also conduct surveillance for respiratory viruses in pediatric and adult populations.

The CIR partners with many sponsors, including the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and private industry companies to evaluate new investigational vaccines.  We conduct both outpatient and inpatient clinical trials at our facilities located on the JHU East Baltimore Campus, Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus as well as off-site at private practices in Laurel, Dundalk, Columbia and White Marsh.