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Madison Davis

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Predoctoral Fellowship in Drug Delivery, 2024 University of Texas at Austin

Impact of a Novel Thin Film Platform on the Uptake and Permeability of Virus-Based Vaccines in an In Vitro Model of the Human Oral Mucosa


My project focuses on the development and use of an in vitro model of the oral mucosa for improved study of mucosal vaccines. Mucosal vaccines are currently an underutilized mode of immunization, and I seek to leverage this drug delivery pathway for a simple and effective single-dose vaccine. Our lab developed a novel film-based platform that stabilizes non-enveloped viruses for extended periods of time without refrigeration. Subsequent administration of the film to the buccal mucosa offers a simple and effective vaccine platform that elicits mucosal and systemic immunity. First, my project will develop and characterize in vitro models of the oral mucosa to better screen formulations and monitor immune responses in real-time. Next, I will optimize our film formulation for a model enveloped virus (influenza) and incorporate a mucosal adjuvant. Targeting TRP channels in the oral mucosa can initiate ion signaling and the production of pro-inflammatory mediators for improved efficacy.

I am incredibly honored to receive a predoctoral fellowship in Drug Delivery from the PhRMA Foundation. The Foundation’s support and belief in my project continue to motivate my pursuit of innovative approaches to drug delivery.

Madison Davis

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