Providence, R.I. — May 25, 2012 – The University of Rhode Island’s Institute for Immunology and Informatics is excited to welcome its next group of elite vaccine researchers to participate in the 2012 Neglected Tropical Diseases Workshop.

The Institute, known as iCubed, applies cutting-edge bioinformatics tools to accelerate the development of treatments and cures for a number of diseases.

The goal of this program is to train new neglected tropical diseases (NTD) researchers to use state-of-the-art immunoinformatics tools to develop new vaccines faster and more effectively, ultimately reducing the global burden of NTD. The training at iCubed will include an intensive, hand-on immunoinformatics and vaccinology core curriculum as well as bench-based immunology training. The training will focus on using new vaccine design tools developed by Principal Investigator and URI Professor Dr. Annie De Groot and Co-Investigator Bill Martin of EpiVax, Inc.

The workshop begins Tuesday, May 29 and runs through Friday, June 8 on the Providence Campus.

The World Health Organization defines neglected tropical diseases as “primarily infectious diseases that thrive in impoverished settings, especially in the heat and humidity of tropical climates.” On the list of NTD are dengue fever, Buruli disease, Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis.

iCubed selected 10 researchers, dubbed “fellows” to participate in the training. Some will travel to Rhode Island from as far away as Europe, Asia and South America. Selections were based on the applicant’s current involvement in research on neglected tropical diseases, prior doctoral or equivalent training in immunology or a related area in the vaccine development field, and substantial commitment from the applicant’s home institution to their future research career.

Immunoinformatics tools will be available to the fellows after they complete the training, so they can continue their work in their home laboratory. The tools are made available to iCubed by EpiVax, Inc. on a non-commercial basis.