Nov. 10: Immunologist talks about vaccine development

By Peggy Perkins, Honors College

Brown-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Vaccine development to combat infections transmitted by ticks, mosquitoes and other insects will be discussed by award-winning researcher Wendy Brown, Washington State University regents professor of immunology, at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, in Honors Hall 110.

The free, public presentation is part of the Honors College lecture series.

Brown designs vaccines to stop diseases similar to human malaria such as bovine babesiosis, which is caused by a parasite, and bovine anaplasmosis, which is caused by a bacterium. Both thrive in hot tropical and semi-tropical climates such as Africa and cause anemia and persistent infections in cattle.

She identifies pathogen proteins (antigens) that can prompt an immune response in a host animal. Proteins with that ability are good candidates for use in vaccines. She and her team of WSU researchers have developed a method to rapidly screen antigens by purifying dozens of proteins in just a few weeks instead of months.

In 2007, she became a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2004, she won the Distinguished International Veterinary Immunologist Award from the International Union of Immunological Societies. It is granted every three years to honor the best veterinary immunologist in the world.

Brown has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health as a principal investigator while she has been on WSU’s veterinary medicine faculty since 1995. She is part of a consortium of scientists funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop an improved vaccine for East Coast fever, a devastating tick-borne cattle disease in sub-Saharan Africa.

She is a founding faculty member of the WSU Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health.

The lecture series was created in 2013 to welcome WSU’s top researchers to discuss their work in person with an undergraduate audience, said M. Grant Norton, Honors College dean. For more information, visit


M. Grant Norton, WSU Honors College, 509-335-4505
Peggy Perkins, WSU Honors College, 509-335-4505,