Harnessing the Power of Vaccines Through Strategic Dosing & Vaccination Site Research
KU Leuven Rega Institute for Medical Research | ELIAS BROECKHOVEN, PHD STUDENT

The Neyts-lab of Virology, Antiviral Drug and Vaccine Research focusses on fundamental virological research and developing state-of-the-art and innovative methods to battle the viral disease which form a global threat today and in the future. Under guidance of PI Kai Dallmeier, our group of Molecular Vaccinology & Vaccine Discovery focusses on the discovery of new and improved vaccine platforms, such as the self-developed Plasmid-Launched Live Attenuated (PLLAV)-vaccine platform, and the understanding of vaccines and the way in which they are used.

Part of my research specifically focusses on the vaccine administration routes and ways in which we can optimize these. As the field of vaccinology is quickly evolving, new vaccination technologies are invented and immunization strategies adapted on the go. For example, with the recent Monkeypox spread, shifting vaccination strategies from subcutaneous to intradermal injection caused a 5-fold increase in vaccination capacity still resulting in efficacious immunization in recipients. This by itself hints at the importance and influence injection depth and accuracy can have on immunization, creating a “less-is-more” effect if the right location of injection and dosage is used.

By using Hamilton products to investigate delivery of vaccines, we want to contribute to the global effort on eliminating diseases and improving vaccination techniques in a trustworthy and standardized manner. Using the Hamilton microliter syringes and customizable needles I can administer an exact dose, even on microliter scale, in the right depth in the tissue, which would not be possible with other commercial syringes and needles. In doing so, we confidently compare conditions in terms of dosing and injection site to the immune response evoked by the vaccine.

In order to increase vaccination coverage and optimize resources necessary to provide effective immunizations across the globe, these studies can be used to improve vaccination strategies worldwide. With the Hamilton Syringe Grant, I am very honored to be able to conduct my research with support from state-of-the-art engineering companies such as Hamilton.

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