The Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC) is part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), which is in turn a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The VRC was established to facilitate research in vaccine development. The VRC is dedicated to improving global human health through the rigorous pursuit of effective vaccines for human diseases.
The VRC was established under Bill Clinton's presidential administration as part of the U.S. response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The Viral Research Center undertakes research into established and emerging infectious diseases and helps to fund development of vaccines for those diseases.
The VRC's primary areas of research and development include HIV vaccine research, Ebola vaccine research, and research into vaccines for both seasonal influenza and influenza strains with the potential to cause pandemics (ex. H1N1 and H5N1).
The Viral Research Center and the broader National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) organization have collaborated with Moderna Therapeutics on the development of mRNA-1273, an mRNA-based vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.
Phase I clinical trials of mRNA-1273 started on March 3, 2020 and are expected to conclude on June 1, 2021.