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November 27, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine for the prevention of H5N1 avian influenza. Influenza A (H5N1) Virus Monovalent Vaccine, Adjuvanted, is for use in people 18 years of age and older who are at high risk of exposure to the H5N1 virus. The vaccine will be added to the National Stockpile for distribution by public health officials if needed. It is not intended for commercial use, FDA said. The US Department of Health and Human Services bought the vaccine from ID Biomedical Corporation of Quebec. The company is a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals. “This vaccine could be used in the event that the H5N1 avian influenza virus develops the capability to spread efficiently from human to human, resulting in the rapid spread of disease across the globe,” said Karen Midthun, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Read More

Helene Dillard, a plant disease expert, associate dean, and head of Cooperative Extension at Cornell University, has been named the new dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis.

Dillard, a native Californian and UC Davis alumna, will on Jan. 27, 2014, assume leadership of the college, which is ranked among the very top agricultural and environmental research institutions in the world.

“Helene Dillard is both an accomplished scientist and a highly skilled administrator,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “She has been a strong supporter of fundamental research and, through her own educational and research efforts, has demonstrated a commitment to solving practical societal problems, especially through Cooperative Extension and its service to agriculture, the environmental community and the general public.”  Read More

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