Xinyuan Chen, PhD, who has joined University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy, was given two grants to develop a laser-based delivery system to improve nicotine vaccine effectiveness.

Xinyuan Chen, an assistant professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, joined URI’s College of Pharmacy after seven years at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, bringing with him a $1.08 million career development grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse and a $432,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

“My laboratory at URI is developing a laser-based delivery system for a powdered vaccine to improve nicotine vaccine effectiveness,” Chen said. “There is no vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for smoking.”

Nicotine vaccines have been studied by other researchers, but none are in use yet.

Typical vaccines fight diseases, but Chen’s vaccine and delivery system fight addictive behavior by blocking nicotine’s entry into the brain.

“This will induce nicotine antibodies in the body,” Chen said.

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