As a professional working in the vaccine field, it is my highest priority to communicate the importance of vaccinations and to advocate for continued vaccine research. Here in Maryland, dozens of vaccine companies are working to advance immunization development. In fact, Maryland is home to 20 percent of the top influencers worldwide in vaccine development. Many small biotechnology companies, like mine, Immunomic Therapeutics, are researching and developing immunotherapy options and "next generation" vaccines to tackle today's most pressing public health crises, such as cancers and infectious diseases. Moreover, vaccine divisions of larger pharmaceutical companies have decided to put their roots down in Maryland. Last December, GlaxoSmithKline opened its newest global vaccine research and development center in Rockville, and 450 researchers are now pursuing their investigational studies there.