Escaping zombies in order to develop better vaccines

As you might be aware, I’m (almost) always willing to help a blogger out, particularly when that blogger is a regular commenter here who’s gotten down and dirty battling antivaccine pseudoscience in the trenches of the comments right here on this very blog. Regular readers might have noticed that I rarely comment much on my own posts. The reason is that it takes a lot of time and effort to produce these daily pearls of Insolence, both Respectful and not-so-Respectful. Similarly, it takes a lot of effort to swat away the turds of pseudoscience flung into the comments by the monkeys of woo. I can do one or the other. I can’t do both. Of course, if I tried to delve into the comments a lot, my blogging would suffer.

So it is that I have a great deal of gratitude to my regular science-based commenters who man the fort while I’m at work or otherwise working on fresh Insolence. To quote a 20 year old movie, “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!” So when one of them, namely Todd W., asks a favor, I’m inclined to grant it happily, and this is what Todd W. asked:

A zombie apocalypse is coming. The dead will rise, forcing people to run for their lives. On May 5, 2012, the Amesbury Sports Park will be transformed into a 5K obstacle course…with zombies! Runners will need to make it past twelve natural and man-made obstacles, all while trying to avoid being eaten. And I am going to be among them. The runners, that is, not the zombies. At least, I’m going to try to not become a zombie.

But I need your help. “How?” you ask? Read on.

Most of the people running the 5K are probably just doing it for fun or to test their mettle. That’s what first attracted me to it, but as I got to thinking about how zombies procreate by infecting others, it seemed like a good opportunity to raise money for infectious disease research. So that’s what I’m doing.

I’ve suggested that people support research before, but this time I’m making a more formal appeal. My goal is to raise $3,000 for the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) at Massachusetts General Hospital. Specifically, there are two projects for which I am trying to raise money.

the projects sound worthy to me. The first is the development of a different kind of vaccine adjuvant, and the second project is the development of a better cholera vaccine. I’m sure if I put this appeal up on my blog that not only you, my readers, will help Todd out, but that maybe–just maybe–our pharma vaccine overlords will shower but a fraction of their lucre upon such a deserving minion as Todd.