Professor Luke O'Neill says research on the back of COVID-19 could see vaccines for other illnesses, such as AIDS.
He says vaccine research has understandably seen an upsurge, and this has led to delving into cures for other diseases.
He told The Pat Kenny Show there are more COVID vaccines around now.
"Seventeen vaccines are approved now, and I didn't realise there were so many.
"I knew we had the four that we have in Ireland, but there's other ones.
"There's Sinovac, there's the famous Sputnik and then others ones as well - so 17 are now being marketed globally.
"There's all these vaccines being deployed - can you imagine - and this disease was only discovered 18 months ago?
"That's the other striking thing that gets me".
On using COVID vaccines as a basis to help cure other diseases, he says this is a promising work in progress
"The level of interest in vaccines in drug companies went up hugely because of COVID, for obvious reasons.
"And then they wonder 'Can we use that technology now that we've used in COVID for malaria, or TB or HIV?'
"They're the three big infectious diseases that kill a lot more people than COVID, remember.
"And we've been trying for decades to get vaccines for these diseases and failed.
"But now this new technology, the RNA in particular, there's a trial with an HIV vaccine happening as we speak using RNA.
"So again there's optimism - on Friday I was talking to some of my vaccine friends and they were saying 'this is great for us because now we can really push this and get support for it'.
"And they're very optimistic, they're going 'We may well crack it, we may well get a vaccine for AIDS'.
"Of course it's early days, having said that, but the 'may' is there and the level of excitement among them is huge - so it's a good development".