Becca Price publishes "Harnessing the Power of the Immune System: Influenza Vaccines"

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IAS faculty member Becca Price and her colleague Jaimy Joy have published an article in CourseSource that describes a lesson for teaching students how to design vaccines. They developed this timely lesson for students in a seminar course taught jointly by IAS and STEM that introduces exciting biological topics to students from multiple majors.

In this lesson, developed before the COVID-19 pandemic began, students used the idea of feedback loops to model how the body’s immune system responds to a vaccine, as well as how different variables, like age and sex, affect the vaccine. The students also designed experiments for the early stages of vaccine development to explore how effective vaccine might be before clinical trials would even begin. While they focus on vaccines for the flu, this lesson can also form the basis for understanding how COVID-19 vaccines were and are being developed.

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