BALTIMORE (AP) — The University of Maryland has received a $200 million contract to research seasonal flu vaccines.

The university’s School of Medicine said in a statement Friday that the research is aimed at testing vaccines and conducting controlled studies.

The money is coming from the federal government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It hopes to develop a universal vaccine against new flu strains and to improve existing flu vaccines as well.

The university said influenza affected more than 43 million people in the U.S. last flu season.

The principal investigator for the research will be Dr. Kathleen Neuzil. She’s a professor of medicine and pediatrics and director of the school’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health.

Neuzil is considered one of the leading scientists for vaccine development and policy.

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