The International Society for Vaccines is an organization that engages, supports, and sustains the professional goals of a diverse membership in all areas relevant to vaccines - 2020 ISV Annual Congress

Rafi Ahmed, PhD

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology; Director, Emory Vaccine Center 
Emory University


Dr. Rafi Ahmed is a world-renowned immunologist who holds positions of Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory University, Director of the Emory Vaccine Center, Eminent Scholar of the Georgia Research Alliance, and Investigator at the Emory Center for AIDS Research.

In 1981, he received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Harvard University after studying for four years in the laboratory of Dr. Bernard Field. Dr. Ahmed then completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship that he focused on cytotoxic T lymphocytes while in the laboratory of Michael B. Oldstone at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, California. Dr. Ahmed’s accolades include Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2009), Foreign Member of the Indian National Academy of Sciences (2013), Member of the Institute of Medicine (2014), Member of the National Academy of Sciences (2014), AAI Excellence in Mentoring Award (2015), Robert Koch Award (2017), and William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology (2017).

Dr. Ahmed's early seminal discovery that T cell exhaustion during chronic viral infections is linked to the PD-1 inhibitory receptor opened a new area of research on PD-1-directed immunotherapic approaches for chronic infections and cancer.

Dr. Ahmed served as the local co-chair for the 2018 ISV Annual Congress held in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), and served on the Scientific Organizing Committee for the 2019 ISV Annual Congress held in Ghent, Belgium.