Crown research institute ESR has been selected by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the $3 million research investigating how a child’s first exposure to flu can “imprint” their immune system—they are seeking 600 to participate from birth.

The Study

The $3 million study is led internationally by St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. In New Zealand the study is known locally as the WellKiwis Study and is led by Dr. Sue Huang of ESR. In New Zealand, the study will follow 600 children in the Wellington, Hutt Valley and Porirua areas over the first seven years of life. The study will be conducted in parallel with other research centers in Los Angeles and Managua, Nicaragua.

The Research Site

ESR (the Institute of Environmental Science and Research) is New Zealand’s Crown Research Institute that specializes in science relating to people and communities. They focus on science that helps safeguard people’s health while also protecting food-based economies, not to mention improving the safety of freshwater and groundwater resources and contributing to expert forensic science to justice systems.

ESR head Dr. Keith McLea reports that the development of a universal flu vaccine “could save millions of lives around the world.” ESR will be recruiting 200 newborn babies and their birth mothers for the study starting this month.

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Sue Huang 

Call to Action: For those interested in tracking international influenza vaccines, this represents an important global study.

Source: Stuff

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