Lorne Babiuk

Microbiology and Immunology

International authority in veterinary virology and immunology

Lorne Babiuk, a farmer’s son, wanted to study medicine. However, seven years of medical school intimidated the young man, and instead, he went to an agricultural school on a government scholarship. But a medical career still attracted him, and so Lorne Babiuk pursued a doctorate degree in virology that could bring him closer to the medical field that interest him so. It was during his doctoral training that the young Babiuk realized that research, rather than practice, was his true calling. Further, he discovered that he also possessed organizational, negotiating, and mentoring skills that made him an excellent candidate for Director of the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).

Since Dr. Babuik’s appointment as Director in 1993, VIDO has become internationally recognized for its role in the use of biotechnology to develop vaccines. VIDO has developed the first genetically engineered vaccine for animals. Recently, VIDO expanded its research from animals to human health.

Many viruses affect humans and animals in a similar way. The basic ways that humans and animals use to protect themselves are also similar. This knowledge allowed the VIDO team to determine how their research on animals’ diseases can help humans.

On June 27, 2005, Dr. Babiuk and his colleagues from VIDO were awarded $5.6 million US over five years for their project from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Babiuk will try to develop a single-dose vaccine that will protect newborns against whooping cough, a respiratory disease that kills 400,000 babies annually.

 

Sources:

Building a Canadian Bastion Against Infectious Disease A profile of VIDO Director Dr. Lorne Babiuk

Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk Extensive summary of references to Dr. Babiuk from “Zoom Info, People Information Summarized” network

Image: Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization

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