Ann Jerse

Researcher Ann Jerse, a Terre Haute native, serves as the principal and investigator at a medical research center based in Maryland.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has announced awards to establish four cooperative research centers focused on developing vaccines to prevent sexually transmitted infections — syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Researcher Ann Jerse, a Terre Haute native, serves as the principal and investigator at a center based in Maryland.

The National Institutes of Health newsletter reported the awards in its May 9 edition.

One of these was awarded to the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, at the Uniformed Services University of Health Services at Bethesda, Maryland, with Jerse — a Ph.D. holder and 1976 graduate of Terre Haute South Vigo High School — as the principal; investigator. The Gonorrhea Vaccine Cooperative Research Center will receive $10.7 million over five years.

Jerse also is the daughter of Dorothy Weinz Jerse and the late Frank W. “Bill” Jerse.

More than half a million gonorrhea diagnoses were reported in the U.S. in 2017, an increase of 67% from 2013. Gonorrhea has become resistant to most antibiotics.