Investigator Studies Program (MISP): Vaccine Biology
Effective January 2022, the Merck Investigator Studies Program Review Committee (MISP-RC) for VACCINE BIOLOGY will accept submissions within our current areas of interest (AOI). This is a competitive review process that will be conducted by the MISP Review Committee. Decisions will be made on the basis of scientific merit and strategic fit within the AOI. Please review the critical activities and abide by the timelines as outlined below

Antigens and Vaccine Platforms
  • Antigen identification and design
  • Vectors
  • Nucleic acids (DNA, mRNA, self-replicating mRNA or circular RNA)
  • Subunit/protein
  • Virus like particles or antigen display technologies
  • Attenuated pathogens as carriers (e.g., measles, Yellow Fever Virus, commensal bacteria)
  • Studies of adjuvants in:
    • Increasing mucosal immunity
    • Increasing protective responses in infants, older adults and immunocompromised populations
    • Improving the quality and quantity of the immune response
    Delivery systems
    • Mucosal delivery (oral, intra-dermal, subcutaneous, intranasal)
    • Implants for prolonged or timed release
    • Nano-technology
    • Electroporation (nucleic acids)
    • Efficient delivery of nucleic acids into cells (non-electroporation-based methods)
    • Understanding the connection between mucosal compartments in humans
    Improving understanding of:
    • Correlates of protection
    • Correlates of protection for mucosal immunity
    • Translational biomarkers for reactogenicity
    • Biomarkers beyond standard serological and CMI measurements
    • How to improve cross presentation of antigen to other immune cells
    • Novel preclinical models that can better predict human immune response (beyond animal models)
    • Understanding the role of microbiome in modulating mucosal and systemic responses to vaccines in humans and non-human primates
    • Mining the microbiome/commensal bacteria and viruses as a source of identifying novel adjuvants
    • Use of commensal bacteria and viruses as vaccine vectors for delivery of antigens/adjuvants
    • Novel oral formulations to successfully deliver commensal bacteria into GI tract
    • Potential use of microbiome as correlates of vaccine efficacy/correlates of protection
    • Elucidation of a definitive molecular mechanism by which one virus suppresses the replication of another virus

    Please complete the corresponding preclinical or clinical PROTOCOL and BUDGET templates via the Company's on-line study management system (in US) or your MSD country representative (outside US). The submissions will be collectively reviewed and selected by the MISP Committee.

    Critical Activities and Timelines:

    Activity Review Cycle 1
    • Full Protocol
    • Dated CV (within 2-years)
    • Detailed Budget on Merck Template
    May 27, 2022

    MISP Information
    This site is intended for US investigators only. Investigators outside of the US interested in submitting research proposals to the Investigator Studies Program should contact their local MSD office.