June 10, 2024 | Yahoo News via UVic News

In the wake of a rising syphilis epidemic, Dr. Caroline Cameron and her team at the University of Victoria are making strides in the fight against this ancient disease. With syphilis cases in Canada hitting close to 14,000 in 2022, the urgency for new solutions is palpable. The team’s project, backed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), aims to create a hybrid protein to prevent infectious and congenital syphilis. With a generous grant of US$7.8 million, the Cameron Lab is on the path to developing a vaccine candidate.

Dr. Cameron, a leading figure in this initiative, is pushing for a shift from current screening and treatment methods to vaccine development. Her insights have highlighted the pressing need for innovative strategies to tackle the surge in syphilis cases. At the University of Victoria, Dr. Cameron’s research is focused on infectious diseases, particularly spirochete bacteria, and host cell-pathogen molecular interactions. As a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, she studies how the syphilis spirochete, Treponema pallidum, invades host tissue. Her lab, the Cameron Laboratory, is one of the few globally—and the only one in Canada—studying this bacterium.

This work, bolstered by significant funding, brings us closer to a future where syphilis can be effectively prevented. For those interested in learning more about Dr. Cameron’s research, her works are available via the institutional repository, UVicSpace. You can find her profile and access her publications here.