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Ying Wang Selected for NCInnovation Grant

Funding will support Wang’s pioneering work on flu vaccine development.

A portrait of Ying Wang, UNCW associate professor of chemistry.
Ying Wang, UNCW associate professor of chemistry
Photo: Michael Spencer/UNCW

UNC Wilmington Associate Professor of Chemistry Ying Wang has been approved for grant funding from NCInnovation to continue his work in developing a groundbreaking vaccine platform that he hopes will result in a universal and longer-lasting flu vaccine. The grant approval is conditioned on standard next steps, including executed grant agreements and formal notification to government partners. This funding is part of NCInnovation’s larger mission to unlock the innovative potential of North Carolina’s world class universities.

“UNC Wilmington is home to incredible researchers working on potentially transformative projects,” said UNCW Chancellor Aswani K. Volety. “Thank you to lawmakers and NCInnovation for supporting applied research at UNC Wilmington, where faculty and students collaborate to address regionally relevant and globally important issues. We’re very proud of Dr. Ying Wang’s pioneering work on flu vaccine development.”

UNCW researchers led by Wang have crafted a groundbreaking vaccine platform they hope will result in a universal and longer-lasting flu vaccine. Right now, flu vaccines do not target every strain, and they must be given every flu season – a reality Wang hopes to change.

“The work underway by UNC Wilmington researchers led by Wang is incredibly exciting,” said Michelle Bolas, NCInnovation executive vice president and chief innovation officer. “This cutting-edge technology is a prime example of an innovation with the capacity to contribute to economic prosperity across the state.”

NCInnovation helps university innovations advance towards commercialization by supporting university applied research through the critical R&D phase between proof concept and readiness for the private market. The grant funding approved for Wang is part of NCInnovation’s larger effort to support the development and commercialization of university research in North Carolina. The campus-to-industry pipeline has been the foundation of American innovation for decades.