UTMB Galveston is on the front line on the war on Ebola. That would make researcher and professor Thomas Geisbert a general. So how goes the battle?
"Very well. There's certainly a lot of progress. It's something that we started working on in the mid 2000s." he says.
Geisbert and another researcher Heinz Feldman have come up with a vaccine that it being field tested by people in Africa right now. According to the World Health Organization it appears to be working. It's a onetime injection and it acts quickly. That's perfect for first responders when there's an outbreak..
"You can vaccinate them before putting them on a plane and hopefully by the time they get to the hot zone they will be protected." he says.
It's been 15 years in the making. Why so long? A vaccine for an exotic disease like Ebola wouldn't be a money maker, so governments and philanthropists have to get involved. Last year's outbreak got a lot of attention and that meant they got money to accelerate development.
So when will this be able to hit the market? It's hard to say . They need more data and here's the cruel irony. By data they mean patients. and the Ebola outbreak is dying out.
There are other ways to get it approved and Geisbert seems optimistic it will happen. He began this fight so long ago and he's so close to winning it.
"I mean it's an incredible feeling standing here talking to you that a vaccine we developed a number of years ago looks like it may save people. It's an awesome feeling."
Because he knows another Ebola outbreak is on the way.