Richard King Mellon Foundation awards $1.5 million grant to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for AFM vaccine research

PITTSBURGH — The Richard King Mellon Foundation awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation to help the medical organization find a vaccine for Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM. The polio-like disease tends to target children and can impact motor functions such as walking, talking and breathing.

“The vaccine for polio was discovered by Jonas Salk in Pittsburgh, and we are betting that the extraordinary researchers at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh have a real chance to prevent this ‘new polio’, too,” Sam Reiman, director of the RK Mellon Foundation, said in a press release. “The consequences of AFM are tragic, and the fact that this virus targets young children is particularly wrenching. By powering UPMC Children’s world-class research now, we hope a vaccine or therapeutic can be developed in time to mitigate the 2024 recurrence.”

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