Researcher Wins Innovation Award for Vaccine for the Prevention of Staph Infection

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Boise State University researcher Juliette Tinker, associate professor of biological sciences, has been named the winner of an Idaho Innovation Award for her research on a vaccine for the prevention of staph and MRSA infection in humans and dairy cows.

Tinker won in the Early-stage Innovation of the Year category. Winners and finalists were recognized during the Idaho Technology Councils third annual Hall of Fame Celebration on Oct. 2.

Being named an Idaho Innovation Awards finalist or winner symbolizes an unbiased endorsement by our communitys business leaders, says Jason Prince, Stoel Rives attorney and 2012 Idaho Innovation Awards co-chairman. The nominations were judged by a selection committee consisting of almost 30 leaders from Idahos business, technology and academic communities.


Antibiotic-resistant staph and MRSA infections in humans and animals are caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that S. aureus and MRSA should be considered a national priority for disease control.

Tinkers novel vaccine offers a preventative solution to the current post-infection long-term treatment for the infections. Major advantages include economic improvements for agricultural animals and livestock and improvements in the quality of life for animal and human inoculated populations.

To date, the invention has one patent pending in the United States. The innovation is unique because it is the only preventative vaccine candidate for S. aureus and MRSA that can be delivered to the nose, mouth or skin to prevent mucosal colonization.

Tinker is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. She joined Boise State in 2005.

The Idaho Innovation Awards are presented by the Stoel Rives law firm, Kickstand and the Idaho Technology Council, and are supported by Idaho TechConnect and the Cooper Norman accounting firm.

Source: Boise State University

Also see: Living Near Livestock May Increase Risk of Acquiring MRSA