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The Making of Medicine

Changing How We Battle Disease

This year represents the silver anniversary of UVA’s Beirne Carter Center for Immunology Research. For 25 years, the group has been working to better understand the role of the immune system in battling disease. In that time, the field of immunology has become one of the hottest areas of medical research. Some of the work emerging from the field is astonishing, such as the melanoma vaccine developed by the fellows in the picture, Victor H. Engelhard, PhD, (left) the Carter Center’s director, and his collaborator, Craig Slingluff Jr., MD. Their vaccine, still experimental, aims to harness the power of the immune system to defeat cancer. What most vaccines aim to prevent illness, theirs would be given to patients after a cancer diagnosis. That’s the sort of research that’s changing how we think about disease.

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