Research Areas


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (NIAID VTEUs) play a key role in the development new and improved vaccines and therapies against infectious diseases. VTEUs have run hundreds of clinical trials, many of which have contributed vaccines becoming licensed for use. A key feature of the VTEUs' success is their ability to enroll large numbers of volunteers into trials rapidly and vaccinate them in a safe, effective and quick manner.

In September 2013, the Duke Clinical Vaccine Unit was named a VTEU unit with Dr. Chip Walter and Dr. Geeta Swamy as the Co-principal Investigators. The Duke VTEU joins eight other VTEU units around the country:



Duke University is a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sponsored Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project. As part of the national network, Duke assists safety experts from the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office (ISO) in providing a comprehensive vaccine safety public health service to the nation. The mission of the CISA project is to improve understanding of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) at the individual-patient level.   Project goals include:  1) serving as a vaccine safety resource for consultation on clinical vaccine safety issues; 2) developing strategies to assess individuals who may be at increased risk for AEFI; 3) conducting studies to identify risk factors and preventive strategies for AEFI, particularly in special populations. More specifically Duke assists with clinical case evaluation for US healthcare providers who have vaccine safety questions about a specific patient residing in the US and provides consultation that enhances understanding of vaccine safety issues and informs clinical and public health practices. 

Duke investigators are currently conducting a number of studies to assess vaccine safety in special populations and to evaluate potential strategies to prevent AEFI. The Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) plays a critical role by providing the necessary infrastructure to conduct laboratory assessments for Duke CISA activities.