Our mission is scientific research focusing on development of preventative and therapeutic treatments for both infectious (malaria, hepatitis B and C, and influenza) and non-infectious diseases (cancer and cardiovascular disease). These studies involve the development of new cancer therapeutics as well as prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. The goal is to bring to fruition treatments for diseases which have plagued millions of people worldwide and to share these results with the scientific community and the public. To accomplish these goals the VRISD has recruited and will continue to recruit researchers with expertise in Molecular Biology, Pharmacogenomics, Peptide Chemistry, Bioinformatics, Oncology and Immunology.
These areas of expertise will allow us to gain an understanding of the host-pathogen and host-tumour interactions as they relate to effective therapeutic design. VRISD scientists are working together for the purpose of eradicating diseases that have eluded researchers and physicians in the past, with the ultimate goal of providing better health for all people worldwide. The Scripps Research Institute, Dr.'s David Milich and Tom Phillips decided they would like to focus their research in such a way as to achieve maximum impact in the field of preventative and therapeutic vaccine design. They felt that in the wake of recent advances in genomics, proteomics, epitope mapping, etc., the design of effective and safe subunit vaccines would be possible.
This is especially important for constructing vaccines for "problem" diseases, which have not yielded to more standard vaccine design. thus the Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego was formed in March of 2000, by these two prominent biomedical researchers. Dr. Milich is an immunologist who has enjoyed a very productive career and is regarded internationally as an outstanding investigator. His expertise in the areas of virology, cellular immunology, immune tolerance and transgenic murine systems will be pivotal to the success of VRISD's quest to solve the problems inherent in vaccine development.
Dr. Phillips has had an equally productive career primarily focusing on the feline immunodeficiency virus model for human immunodeficiency virus. While Dr. Phillips was pivotal in the forming of the VRISD, a few years into his tenure he received an offer he could not refuse: the opportunity to be part of a ground floor effort to start a sorely needed school of veterinary medicine. Thus, in 2004 Dr. Phillips left the VRISD to become Assistant Dean for Biomedical Research at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. Going forward we believe our staff of researchers represents a foundation from which a highly successful approach to vaccine development can be launched, culminating in the development of preventative and therapeutic vaccines focusing on agents that have plagued mankind for decades