The Coler Lab focuses on vaccine development and host-directed therapies against a variety of epidemic and pandemic diseases. Our mission is to develop solutions to fight tuberculosis, nontuberculous mycobacteria and positive strand RNA viruses to improve outcomes in adult and childhood health — major causes of mortality, poverty, and inequality in low- and middle-income Countries (LMIC). Our focus is translational research: we funnel vaccine candidates from the laboratory to human clinical studies.
Current Research Projects
The pathogens we study pose significant challenges in that they have evolved to evade or suppress host immunity. To address these issues, we are investigating new vaccine and host-directed therapy concepts aimed at achieving protective efficacy. Toward this goal, we design candidate vaccines, test them extensively in preclinical models including mice, guinea pigs and non-human primates to demonstrate acceptable tolerability and immunogenicity, and evaluate both prophylactic and therapeutic potential in animal models and experimental medicine studies. We have shown that when administered in combination with antimicrobial drugs robust protection is induced that persists after drugs are withdrawn.
Studies currently in progress in the Coler Lab also aim to elucidate mechanisms of protection mediated by various prophylactic and therapeutic approaches including the application of novel adjuvants, mRNA vaccine delivery and combinatorial regimens to further improve immune response outcomes. Results from our work has resulted in several patents, three start-up biotechnology companies, and translation of several infectious disease vaccines from preclinical to clinical development.
We have ongoing collaborations with many groups locally in Seattle (HDT Bio., Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, around the U.S. (RTI International, Colorado State University, Ragon/Harvard) and internationally (Oxford University, London School Hygiene Tropical Medicine, Public Health England, Quratis Inc., Yonsei University College of Medicine and Quratis Inc., Gennova Biopharmaceuticals).