For Immediate Release

Contact: Andrea E. Garcia, Touro University California
Associate Vice President, University Advancement

W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 704-6101

Touro University California Receives Grant to Improve Vaccines for Positive Impact on Public Health

(Vallejo, CA – April 9, 2012) – A new method for improving characteristics that could increase vaccine safety and stability at a low cost is underway at Touro University California thanks to a $144,770 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Alison McCormick, PhD., associate professor at Touro's College of Pharmacy, recently received a grant from NIH for her project entitled, "Adaptation of a Novel RNA Virus for Vaccine Use," to improve vaccine characteristics that could ultimately set in motion a widespread adoption of new vaccines in the future.

"NIH funding provides me with an opportunity to develop a new type of vaccine," says Alison McCormick, PhD., of Touro University California. "Our immediate goal is to establish 'proof of principal' that a new highly effective, single dose immunization can be created using a hybrid virus strategy. Long term, we will adapt this system for vaccine production in plants, combining efficacy and low cost production. "

Improving vaccine characteristics by rational design is a high priority of research for scientists and the medical community because vaccines play a critical role in improving public health. The funding to develop an innovative methodology for a new type of vaccine would have a positive impact on improved safety, superior immune activation and protection against infectious disease pathogens and cancer.

Funding for the project comes from the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is designed to provide major support for scientists conducting research aimed at developing better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent the many infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases. For information on NIH, please visit

About the Touro College and University System:

Touro University California is a Jewish nonprofit, independent graduate institution of higher learning founded in 1997 on three Judaic values: social justice, the pursuit of knowledge and service to humanity. The university, home to 1,400 students, has professional programs in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, public health, nursing, and education. Faculty, staff and students have a powerful commitment to academic excellence, evidence-based professional practice, inter-professional collaboration, and active engagement with a global community. To learn more, visit or call 707-638-5200.