As part of the Influenza Genome Sequencing Project, JCVI will be sequencing a large number of high yield influenza reassortants created in the lab of Dr. Doris Bucher at New York Medical College. Dr. Bucher’s lab has prepared the type A H3N2 high yield reassortants (hyrs) for the influenza vaccine for the past several years, both within the US and world wide.
The Bucher lab continues the tradition of preparing the hyrs as developed by preeminent influenza virologist Dr. Edwin D. Kilbourne (1920-2011). Dr Kilbourne developed and applied the technology to produce the first genetically engineered influenza vaccines; these vaccines, which typically change yearly, have been in use for over 40 years.
JCVI will be sequencing approximately 46 hyrs from Dr. Kilbourne’s collection which was assembled as part of the Kilbourne/New York Medical College Archive of Influenza Virus Reassortants, Mutants, and Antisera. Detailed information is provided for every virus stored in the archive with information at the archive website (www.flu-archive.org). The assembly of the archive was sponsored by the NIAID and viruses in the archive are available through BEI Resources (www.beiresources.org). All sequence data and meta data associated with the hyrs sequenced at JCVI will be made publically available in the Influenza Research Database (www.fludb.org).
Dr. Kilbourne passed away on February 21, 2001 at the age of 90. A eulogy in remembrance of Dr. Kilbourne and his pioneering work in the field of influenza virology can be found at: http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/204/2/185.full