Sarah Harcum: Flu Vaccine Research

Sarah Harcum, PhD

Associate Professor of Bioengineering
Department of Bioengineering


There’s been a lot of talk recently about a flu epidemic. One concern has been will there be enough vaccine? My name is Sarah Harcum, and I am a chemical engineer in the bioengineering department at Clemson University.

My research with Chinese hamster ovaries will look at alternative methods to produce influenza vaccines, hopefully more economically than what is currently done using eggs. The problem with eggs is that there can be egg shortages, and recently we’ve also observed the contamination problems with using egg-based systems.

Another focus of my research has been to look at the organism e-coli. E-coli is a bacteria normally found in your gut; but we also use this organism to manufacture numerous drugs, like insulin which is used to treat diabetes. For more information please go to the bioengineering website at Clemson University.