Deborah Anderson, PhD, Receives NIH Award to Advance Research on Products that Control Sexual Transmission of Viruses, Provide Contraception

Headshot of Dr. AndersonDeborah Jean Anderson, PhD, professor of medicine, has received a four-year, $7.2 million grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development renewing support for a Contraceptive Research Center (CRC) to further her research to develop innovative monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based contraceptive and multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) products.

“This research has the potential to improve the lives of millions of women globally by addressing two concurrent reproductive health crises: an unacceptably high rate of unintended pregnancies in both developing and developed countries and an epidemic of sexually transmissible infections,” explains Anderson.

With prior funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anderson and her team developed a vaginal film containing mAbs against HIV-1 and HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus type 2) that proved safe and effective in a Phase 1 clinical trial, and recently, with funding from her first CRC grant, Anderson developed an antisperm antibody for contraception. With this new award, Anderson plans to advance these products through advanced clinical trials.

For the past 40 years, Anderson has directed a research laboratory that studies reproductive health, mucosal immunology and HIV sexual transmission. Her laboratory was among the first to study immunological causes of infertility, and to identify risk factors for HIV transmission.