Research Horizons


Influenza IMPRINT Cohort Study Receives Funding Boost

Mary Allen Staat, MD, MPH

A $30 million Influenza IMPRINT Cohort  study led by Cincinnati Children’s has been awarded a $9.1 million boost from the Open Philanthropy Project.

The original cooperative agreement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is funding research based in Cincinnati and in Mexico City to dig deeper into how the immune systems of infants and growing children are affected by their first exposures to flu viruses and flu vaccines. Gathering the information required will involve asking more than 2,000 sets of mothers and infants to participate in at least three years of weekly surveillance with medical testing and questions about their child’s health.

The Influenza IMPRINT Cohort study will explore the emerging idea that a person’s very first influenza virus exposure impacts the magnitude, durability and breadth of their immune response to all future flu exposures. “This type of immunological imprinting likely explains much about the wide variation in vaccine effectiveness year-to-year,” says Mary Allen Staat, MD, MPH, principal investigator for the new study.

The funds from the Open Philanthropy Project will further support this work.

 “Our supplemental funding seeks to advance understanding of core mechanisms in immunology, including the role of the innate immune system and the microbiome that could lead to changes in how vaccines are developed and used,” says Heather Youngs, Open Philanthropy’s Scientific Research Program Officer.

The Open Philanthropy Project identifies outstanding giving opportunities, makes grants, follows the results, and publishes its findings. Its mission is to give as effectively as it can and share the findings openly so that anyone can build on them.

Learn more about the IMPRINT cohort study