The University of Iowa Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) was established in 2007 with a $23.7 million contract from a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) called the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The contract was renewed in 2013 with the potential for $135 million per year over 7 to 10 years. As part of the contract, the University of Iowa Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit conducts clinical trials of promising vaccines and therapies for infectious diseases.

The University of Iowa is one of nine sites nationwide selected to serve as Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Units that are responsible for testing vaccines in specific populations. As a VTEU the University of Iowa helps bolster the NAID’s ability to direct clinical research to quickly respond to public health needs. Other VTEU contracts were awarded to medical centers at:

  • Baylor College of Medicine - Houston, Texas
  • Children's Hospital Medical Center - Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Duke Clinical Vaccine Unit - Durham, North Carolina
  • Emory University - Atlanta, Georgia
  • Group Health Cooperative - Seattle, Washington
  • St. Louis University - St. Louis, Missouri
  • University of Maryland - Baltimore, Maryland
  • Vanderbilt University - Nashville, Tennessee

Our principal investigator Patricia Winokur M.D. is the Director for Clinical and Translational Science in addition to Professor of Internal Medicine and Executive Dean of the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Winokur is an experienced infectious disease specialist as well as an accomplished researcher and staff physician at the University of Iowa Hospital and in the Veterans Affairs Iowa City Health Care system. The University of Iowa VTEU continues to conduct clinical trials on traditional flu vaccines that are developed each year as well as flu vaccines that include new adjuvants— agents that enhance the body’s immune system response. In addition to traditional flu vaccines, the University of Iowa studies vaccines related to emerging public health issues. Since 2011, the UI Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) have enrolled nearly 3,000 volunteers for a total of 23,000 visits.

"Obviously, NIH will take the lead in establishing the key targets from a national health perspective, but this partnership strengthens our ability to respond rapidly and efficiently. The ability to develop and test vaccines in response to emerging diseases or biochemical agents is always important, and it will be a key component of the consortium." – Patricia Winokur M.D.

The University of Iowa remains a prominent VTEU site due to its strong track record of enrolling clinical study participants and obtaining reliable, high quality data. In addition, the support of Iowans who take part in our trials is remarkable. “The individuals who volunteer for these types of studies are the backbone of our entire clinical trials program and they make Iowa an amazingly successful place to do this type of work.”- Patricia Winokur M.D. Jack Stapleton M.D., associate director of the UI VTEU, adds “The Iowans who volunteer are such wonderful Midwestern people. They show up for all of their appointments, which means we have superb retention, and follow-through with our patients. For research, this is very important."


The ability to develop and test vaccines in response to emerging diseases or biochemical agents is always important, and it will be a key component of the consortium.

Patricia Winokur, M.D. Principal Investigator

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