Sheba Partners with the U.S. National Institutes of Health to Establish a Pandemic Preparedness Research Institute
As COVID-19 began to spread in 2020, Sheba’s Infection Prevention and Control Unit was tasked with leading infection control efforts at Sheba. After recruiting almost 10,000 healthcare workers, Sheba ran long-term studies that provided insight into the efficacy of vaccines in preventing asymptomatic and symptomatic infections, immune responses, and much more.
These efforts culminated in 50 research articles published in renowned medical journals, such as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Nature, and JAMA – impacting national decision-making.
After the pandemic began its decline, Sheba recognized the need to prepare for future pandemics and decided to partner with the U.S. National Institutes of Health to establish the Sheba Pandemic Preparedness Research Institute (SPRI). The SPRI was tasked with developing medical advances and technologies for a rapid global epidemiological crisis response, focusing on preventive measures and biological countermeasures.
“The SPRI is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to prevent and combat future epidemics and pandemics,” explains Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay, Director of the Pandemic Research Institute & Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Medical Center. “Together with the NIH, we hope that the discovery of pathogens and infectious diseases can be translated into health outcomes that not only improve but protect the lives of patients worldwide.”
Featuring a multidisciplinary team of virologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, clinicians, bioinformatics scientists, FACS experts, clinical study coordinators, and more, SPRI will leverage industry collaborations to complement the research and clinical capabilities of Sheba, the NIH, and other academic partners – accelerating the development of therapeutics and vaccines.
“The core of the National Institutes of Health and Vaccine Research Center mission is applying scientific and technological insights to design and develop vaccines and biologics against infectious diseases,” said Prof. Daniel Douek, Chief of the Vaccine Research Center’s Human Immunology Section at the NIH and newly appointed Senior Scientific Advisor of the Sheba Pandemic Research Institute. “Together with Sheba, we can turn discovery into real healthcare advances.”