PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A local researcher has received a $4.8 million federal grant to study a new rabies vaccine that could have wider applications.

If you’re bitten by a rabid animal, and you don’t receive treatment and the virus spreads to the brain, there’s little doctors can do to save your life.

But Dr. Craig Hooper director of the Center for Neurovirology at Thomas Jefferson University is working on a man-made rabies virus that can enter the CNS, or central nervous system, and literally push the virus out of the brain, saving your life.

He says the concept may work with other viruses such as.

“West Nile virus, so people who die of West Nile, it’s because the virus goes to the CNS and it’s very difficult for the immune system to clear the virus.”

He says this vaccine research could also help doctors working on treatments for glioblastoma, a primary malignant tumor of the brain.

Reported By Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio