Professor Punnee Pitisuttithum is the Head of the Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, and also the Head of the Vaccine Trial Centre (VTC) at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand. She is an internationally recognized expert on tropical infectious diseases, especially on vaccine trials and clinical studies. She has completed over 40 clinical trials and has 170 publications in international peer-reviewed journals. Her research has been cited more than 5,000 times according to Scopus database. She has designed and conducted numerous clinical studies (phase I, II, III vaccine trials) of tropical diseases and vaccine against HIV/AIDS, HPV, Cholera, and other infectious diseases. She was the lead clinical investigator in the largest community trial of HIV vaccines (prime-boost regimen) involving 16,000 participants (RV144) which was the first time showed efficacy in human. She played a key role in the testing of the world’s first commercial dengue vaccine.
She served as a member of the Initiative for Vaccine Research (IVR) of the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHO-UNAIDS Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC) on HIV/AIDS, the International AIDS Vaccine Institutes, and the Task Force on Research and Development during the establishment of The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). She has also chaired and co-chaired numerous international conferences or reviewing committees. She has received numerous honors and awards including the Most Outstanding Researcher in Medical Science in 2015 from the National Research Council of Thailand, as well as the Mahidol University Award for Outstanding Research in 2013.
She received her MBBS degree from Lady Hardinges Medical College, New Delhi, India. She has a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and a Doctor of Clinical Medicine degree, both from Mahidol University, Thailand. She also holds a Diploma of Thai Board of Internal Medicine from the Medical Council of Thailand.
Anna-Lise Williamson was awarded her Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her training is in virology and vaccinology. She has worked in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT) since 1987, where she was promoted to full professor in 2004. In 2008 she was awarded a South African Research Initiative Research Chair in Vaccinology. She is one of the founding members of UCT's Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, which is generally regarded as the best institute in Africa for infectious disease research. Her laboratory has successfully tested novel vaccines against papillomaviruses, Rift Valley fever virus, rotavirus and rabies virus in animal challenge models. These vaccines were based on recombinant Bacille Calmette Guerin or recombinant poxviruses as vaccine vectors. In collaboration with Professor Ed Rybicki (UCT), also an ISV member, subunit vaccines to HPV and HIV based on production in tobacco or insect cell systems were developed and tested in mice, rabbits or non-human primates.
On the basis of this expertise, research into the development of HIV vaccines was initiated under the auspices of the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI), with the long-term goal of moving candidate HIV vaccines through the vaccine development pipeline from basic research to clinical trials. The pipeline to get vaccines from concept to clinical trials is complex, requiring many different sets of expertise and major funding support. One of her most significant achievements was to direct the vaccine development group that got two locally-developed HIV vaccines into clinical trials. These are the only HIV vaccine candidates developed in Africa to go into human clinical trials. Their role was vaccine design and construction, as well as generation of pre-clinical data to support regulatory documentation, including vaccine stability assays and immunogenicity in mice and non-human primates. This was funded by SAAVI and the NIH, which was crucial to the success of the project as it enabled a critical mass of people to participate in the project with the flexibility to respond to the challenges of the project. The two candidate HIV vaccines, SAAVI DNA C2 and SAAVI MVA-C, have successfully been taken from basic research concepts through to Phase 1 clinical trial, which required the establishment of a sophisticated laboratory infrastructure and skill-set for the preclinical part of the programme, and the exploitation of various networks and of different sets of expertise. Once the vaccines were ready for Phase 1 clinical trials, the clinical teams under Professor Glenda Gray and Professor Gavin Churchyard took over with funding from HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and the SA MRC. This represents a unique example of a multidisciplinary research effort taking a project from the basic concept through to clinical trial in Africa. It shows that academic institutions in South Africa have the capacity to do these projects, and to contribute meaningfully to the global initiative to make a successful prophylactic HIV vaccine.
Present projects include novel HIV vaccines and recombinant veterinary vaccines based on lumpy skin disease virus. She is also an expert on human papillomavirus, and has participated in national committees on the introduction of HPV vaccine in South Africa, as well as serving as a consultant for the WHO. She is actively involved in training post-graduate students and has over 200 peer reviewed publications.
Prof. Williamson served as a member of the ISV Board for two years and was elected a Fellow of ISV in 2019.
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.
Dr. Albrecht earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana in 2003 under the mentorship of Dr. Dennis J. O'Callaghan. He conducted his postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Dr. García-Sastre in the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.
Specific areas of research have focused on developing novel influenza vaccines, studying humoral responses of animals and humans to influenza vaccines, developing immunological reagents and assays to examine the adaptive immune response of ferrets, testing the protective efficacy of novel influenza vaccines in small animal models of influenza disease, and in vitro assays of antibody-mediated virus neutralization. Novel influenza vaccines that induce protective immunity against more conserved antigens such as the hemagglutinin stalk domain are an exciting and rapidly developing area of research on influenza virus vaccines. These vaccine approaches hold the promise to induce broadly neutralizing antibody and cellular immune responses that could confer increased protection against antigenic drift and possibly against pandemic influenza. Dr. Albrecht has contributed to preclinical research studies that have examined in the ferret model of influenza the potential of sequential immunization regimens with vaccines that are designed to focus humoral immune responses against the conserved hemagglutinin stalk domain.
Dr. Albrecht, an active member of ISV, serves as the Editor of the ISV newsletter. Dr. Albrecht served on the Scientific Organizing Committee for the 2018 ISV Annual Congress held in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), and was elected a member of the ISV Board (2020-2021).
Dr. Nathalie Garçon is currently the chief executive (CEO) and scientific officer (CSO) of BIOASTER. Prior to joining BIOASTER, Dr. Garçon held several positions within SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, now known as GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, including Vice President, Head of global vaccine center for adjuvants and technology innovation, Vice President, head of Research and North America R&D, Director of research and new technologies R&D, and Director of alternative deliveries and preclinical operations. She is a biological Pharmacist by training, which included two doctoral dissertations, one in pharmaceutical science and another in immunotoxicology and immunopharmacology from Claude Bernard Lyon 1, which is part of the Université de Lyon. Dr Garçon expertise in vaccinology extends from research to manufacturing, in particular immunology, adjuvant and formulation technologies, analytical methods, animal experimentation and toxicology/safety evaluation and testing. Dr Garçon is the 2014 laureate of the Stanley Plotkin award for lifetime achievement in the field of vaccines and vaccine technologies. She has authored over 80 papers and book chapters, and is listed as inventor on more than 100 patents. Dr. Garcon is an active member of ISV, including poster presentations and serving as a keynote speaker. She served on the scientific committee for the 2015 and 2017 ISV Congresses and participated in the mentoring sessions.
Professor Hill serves as the Founding Director of the Jenner Institute and Chairman of the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford; is a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Professor Hill holds an academic appointment as Professor of Human Genetics at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, which studies genetic susceptibility factors for common bacterial diseases. He the leader of one of the most successful translational research programs in the UK, with over 25 new vaccines designed, manufactured, and assessed in clinical trials.
Professor Hill focused his research on the development of a range of viral vectored vaccination approaches, which are currently in widespread clinical development. His research has also focused on the discovery of approaches that induce cellular immunity in humans (prime-boost and prime-target vaccination) leading to clinical development in multiple infectious disease and cancer indications for both disease prevention and immunotherapy,
Dr. Hill has served as Chief Investigator on over 50 clinical trials, including clinical trials for malaria vaccines and the first clinical trial of a monovalent Ebola virus vaccine (cAd3-ZEBOV) aimed at targeting the West African Ebola virus epidemic. Prof. Hill has been an active participant in the ISV Congresses, including being on the Scientific committee in 2016 and 2017, and as a plenary speaker. He is particularly interested in guiding the scientific program efforts for both future Congresses and regional topical ISV meetings, ensuring that the meetings have an important emphasis on diseases primarily affecting developing countries including One Health programs and is passionate about extending pre-clinical vaccinology research to more centers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Paul A. Offit, MD, is the Director of the Vaccine Education Center and Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He is also the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and a Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Offit earned his bachelor's degree from Tufts University and his medical degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. During his early training at CHOP, he was mentored by Maurice Hilleman, who is considered the father of modern vaccines. Along with H. Fred Clark, PhD, and Stanley A. Plotkin, MD, Dr. Offit is the co-inventor of an oral rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, a pentavalent rotavirus vaccine that took 26 years to develop. In recognition to his dedication to the development of a rotavirus vaccine, Dr. Offit was the 2018 recipient of the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal, which the Sabin Vaccine Institute has awarded annually since 1994 for recognition of research accomplishments in the field of vaccinology or a complementary field.
Additional accolades include being selected as a recipient of the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Offit is a regular contributor to the CHOP Vaccine Update Newsletter for Healthcare Professionals, and an accomplished writer. Dr. Offit is a member of the Scientific Committee for the 2019 ISV Annual Congress.
Dr. Rhee is a Professor of Microbiology at Chonnam National University Medical School where is Korea Chief. He also is the Director of the National Research Laboratory of Molecular Microbial Pathogenesis and the Director of the Research Institute for Vibrio Infections at the Clinical Vaccine R&D Institute in South Korea.
Dr. Rhee graduated from the Chonnam National University Medical School and received his PhD from the same university. He has spent the last 20+ years working on the molecular pathogenesis of Vibrio vulnificus infections. His laboratory has recorded V. vulnificus-host interactions using molecular and cellular microbiological tools. In 2002, he reported the whole genome sequence of CMCP6 which became one of the standard strains in our research field. Virulence regulatory roles of ToxRS, cAMP-CRP, LuxS quorum sensing, and HlyU were also documented by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in his laboratory that he has mentored over his career. Since the early 2000s, he has focused on the genes preferentially expressed while the pathogen is interacting with host animals. Recently, he had the fortune of solving the puzzle of cytotoxic mechanism exerted by V. vulnificus which proved that a RTX toxin is the major exotoxin responsible for the hallmark cytotoxic activity and triggers a programmed necrotic cell death mechanism.
With a PhD in Biology (Zoology) from Central Drug Research Institute, Dr. Srivastava has a strong background in vaccine development, particularly in immunogen design, purification, analytical and formulation development, and has published extensively in these areas. Previously, he has spent more than twelve years at Chiron Corporation/Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc. in various capacities, including Head (AI), Protein Biochemistry; Head, Vaccine Manufacturing; and Head, Protein Expression and Analytics. He also spent two years at NIH’s Vaccine Research Center (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases), where he led the purification, analytical and formulation development of Chikungunya vaccine for clinical evaluation.
Dr. Srivastava has more than 120 peer reviewed publications, including contributions in Vaccine, and Science. In addition, he co-edited the book “Development of Vaccines: From Discovery to Clinical Testing,” published by John Wiley and sons in 2011. He joined Protein Sciences in 2013 and served as Vice President of Product Realization from 2012-2015 where he led the yearly strain change activities required for successful commercial production of flu vaccine. Since 2015, Dr. Srivastava has served as Vice president of Process and Analytical Development and has made significant contributions in process optimization, improving the yield of Flublok, and performing comparability studies to implement process changes to the approved process.
Dr. Srivastava has served on the NIH special emphasis study section focused on vaccine development for ten years and in 2015 was named the standing member of the scientific review committee VACC. Dr. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Gates Foundation Funded Program Project at the University of Massachusetts, the NIH Funded Program Project for the Development of HIV Vaccine at the University of Massachusetts, and currently serves as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, Staged Vaccine Development Program at the University of Massachusetts. He has many honors, among which are two Research Fellowships with the Indian Council of Medical Research Malaria project, a Swiss Government Scholarship to work at Hospital Cantonal, University of Geneva, and malaria research support from the Swiss National Research Foundation.
Dr. Wahren has been a pioneer for many areas of vaccinology, including her prime-boost clinical trials for both prevention and therapy of HIV/AIDS, and her therapeutic vaccine studies for cancer (targeting CEA) and her novel passive immunotherapy for HIV known as Dock-and-Lock therapy. She is a Professor at the Karonlinska Institutet and has devoted significant effort to mentoring and educating PhD and post-doctoral students throughout Europe via various European consortia such as EAVI, AVIP, and Europrise.
One of Dr. Wahren’s focuses was designing a genetic HIV vaccine for immunotherapy and prophylaxix, and targeting genes that HIV possesses and making small DNA constructs. The resulting vaccine has been used in human trials in four different countries in Europe and Africa, and appears to be one of the most effective vaccines to prime for immune responses against a variety of HIV strains as it stimulates both Humoral and Cell-mediated immunity. The vaccine concept is an unusual one as the vaccine is composed of viral genes and not the usual proteins. The individual produces the vaccine antigen, thus making the vaccine tailor-made for the immune responses of the vaccinated individual. Efforts are underway to design a similar tailor-made genetic vaccine against the common colorectal cancer cells.
Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny was appointed WHO Assistant Director-General in October 2010. Prior to this, Dr. Kieny directed the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research since its inception in 2001. Major successes under her leadership were the development and licensing of a new vaccines against meningitis A, and against pandemic influenza in developing countries through pioneering the transfer of technology and know-how. Vaccines against poverty-related diseases and those that disproportionately affect poor and marginalized populations are continuing priorities since her first role in WHO with the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases in 2001. In 2009-2010 she lead the WHO Pandemic Influenza Deployment Initiative which allowed delivery of more than 80 million doses of vaccine to nearly 80 low- and middle-income countries. She was placed in charge of Ebola R&D in WHO in 2014 and has overseen the design and implementation of a successful Ebola Vaccine clinical trial in Guinea.
Before coming to WHO, Dr Kieny held top research positions in the public and private sectors of her home country, France. The positions included Assistant Scientific Director of Transgene S.A. from 1981 to 1888, and Director of Research and Head of the Hepatitis C Virus Molecular Virology Group at the Institute of Virology, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) from 1999 to 2000.
Dr Kieny's research career began with the development of a recombinant rabies vaccine, allowing the elimination of rabies in vaccinated territories in Europe and North America. She has also worked on the design of several original AIDS vaccine candidates in collaboration with the Pasteur Institute, and conducted research on immuno-gene therapy targeting breast and cervical cancers with encouraging results. Dr. Kieny has taught molecular virology, vaccinology and genetic engineering and directed the research of many doctoral candidates and undergraduates.
She received her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Montpellier in 1980, where she was also awarded a University Diploma in Economics, and her Diplôme d’Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches from the University of Strasbourg in 1995. Dr. Kieny has published over 250 articles and reviews, mainly in the areas of infectious diseases, immunology and vaccinology.
Dr. Kieny was awarded the coveted Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, au titre du Ministère de la Recherche (2000); the Prix Génération 2000-Impact Médecin (1994); and the Prix de l'Innovation Rhône-Poulenc (1991).
Paul-Henri Lambert, MD, is a retired professor associated with the Centre of Vaccinology in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at the University of Geneva. He is interested in vaccination strategies and risk evaluation. Prof. Lambert is directing the International Advanced Course of Vaccinology (ADVAC) organized under the auspices of the Fondation Mérieux and University of Geneva.
Prof. Lambert chaired the steering committee of the European Consortium for the development of new tuberculosis vaccines (TBVAC), and the vaccine committee of the International Association for Biologicals (IANS) and, until December 2008, chaired the WHO Global Advisory Committee for Vaccine Safety.
Prof. Lambert led the Immunology Research and Training Program of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WHO-associated research laboratories at Universities of Geneva and Lausanne (1975-1987). During this period his research activities lead him to decipher immunological mechanisms involved in autoimmune and immune complex-mediated diseases and in the pathogenesis of malaria. He then became involved in the development of new strategies to optimize vaccine immunogenicity. Prof. Lambert was appointed as chief Microbiology and Immunology at the World Health Organization (1987) and Chief, Vaccine Research and Development, WHO Global Program for Vaccines and Immunization (1994).
A native of Belgium, Prof. Lambert was boarded in Internal Medicine (University of Liege). In 1966, he joined Frank Dixon at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California, for immunopathology training. He then moved to University of Geneva Medical School as head of a research unit (1970), becoming professor in the Department of Medicine (1974) and affiliated in the Department of Pathology (1984).
Dr. Tangy is Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, Section de Biologie de la cellule, relation hôte-pathogène et immunologie. He is the head of the Viral Genomics and Vaccination lab at Institut Pasteur, CNRS UMR 3569, Paris, France. Dr. Tangy is a conference co-chair for the 2016 ISV Congress that will be held in Boston, MA, and will also serve as the co-chair for the 2017 ISV Congress. He is one of the ten ISV fellows that were selected in 2015. Dr. Tangy received his PhD in Pharmacology and Dr. Sc. in Microbiology from the Pierre and Marie Curie University (University of Paris VI). He is an internationally renowned scientist, professor, inventor, entrepreneur, and writer and director of TV film documentaries. He has coauthored over 130 publications on vaccines, including measles virus-vectored vaccines, molecular biology and pathogenesis of viruses, innate immunity, and virus host interactions. As an inventor, he holds over 20 patents with the US and the EU Patent and Trademark Office. As an entrepreneur, he is co-founder of Epixis SA, Paris, France, a biotechnology company that develops vaccines based on virus-like particles designed to confer protection against hepatitis C. He also cofounded OncoVita, a start-up company that develops the use of modified measles virus as oncolytic agents. Dr. Tangy will attend the 2016 ISV Annual Congress, and looks forward to discussing his research with Congress attendees.
Yu-mei Wen, Ph.D., Professor & Director, Institute of Medical Microbiology, Fudan University, Shanghai. Dr. Wen is also Professor of Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology, Ministry of Education/Ministry of Health. Her research interests are in molecular virology and immunology of hepatitis B virus, and in microbial functional genomic studies. She is one of the pioneers in developing therapeutic vaccine for chronic hepatitis B patients. Prof. Wen graduated from Shanghai Medical University and has been a WHO fellow at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Fogarty visiting scholar at NIAID, National Institutes of Health, USA. She has published 240 articles home and abroad, and has edited and co-edited 8 books, including Viral Hepatitis in China-Problems and Control Strategies (Karger publisher, 1992) and recent works on micorbes and infections in China (World Scientific Publisher, 2010). She was acting editor of Archives of Virology (2008-2011).
Emilio Emini, Ph.D., is the HIV Program Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the Global Health. Dr. Emini was the Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Vaccine Research at Pfizer Inc. Previously, Dr. Emini served as Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Development at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. He was also the founding Executive Director of Merck’s Department of Antiviral Research and the Vice President of Merck’s Vaccine and Biologics Research. Dr. Emini received his doctoral degree in 1980 from the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in the fields of microbiology, genetics and biochemistry.
Myron M. (“Mike”) Levine received his MD from the Medical College of Virginia in 1967 (where he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society) and went on to become Board-certified in both Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine. He studied Tropical Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and received a DTPH in 1974. In that year, he also co-founded the Center for Vaccine Development (the CVD) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He has devoted his career to accelerate the development and introduction of vaccines against infections that pose a great burden on children and adults in developing countries (e.g., Shigella, typhoid fever, cholera, diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, malaria). In 1979, as a Pan American Health Organization consultant, he assisted Dr. Jose Manuel Borgoño in establishing the Typhoid Fever Control Program in the Ministry of Health of Chile and served as advisor to the Program until the early 1990s. CVD-Chile, a field unit of the CVD was established as a formal juridical public health research entity in Chile in 1991. Under his leadership, another field unit, CVD-Mali, was established in Bamako, Mali, West Africa; collaborating with Malian physicians and investigators, this unit serves as a public health research arm of the Malian Ministry of Health. At the University of Maryland School of Medicine he has served since 1984 as Professor and Head of the Division of Geographic Medicine in the Department of Medicine and from 1985 to 2006 as Professor and Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics.
Mike Levine has authored 461 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals and more than 100 book chapters. He is Chief Editor of “New Generation Vaccines”, the leading textbook of research vaccinology; the 4th edition of will be published in 2008. He has been highly successful in receiving large grant awards from the NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Some recent grants include $50 million from the NIH as Principal Investigator of a Regional Center of Excellence, $20.4 million from the Gates Foundation to develop a new measles vaccine for immunizing infants in developing countries who are too young to receive the current measles vaccine and $29 million from the Gates Foundation to study the burden and etiology of diarrheal disease in eight sites in sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia.
He has received many honors acknowledging his research contributions. To cite a few, he was elected a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (“the Young Turks”) (1986), the American Association of Physicians (“the Old Turks”) (1993) and the American Epidemiological Society (1982). In 1995 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and in 1998 he received the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award for lifetime achievement in the field of vaccinology. Based on his vaccine research, in 2000 the Institute for Science Information recognized Dr. Levine as one of the top 100 most highly cited, influential researchers in the field of immunology. Since 2003, he has served as Principal Investigator of the Middle Atlantic Region Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, a $50 million NIH-funded consortium that includes > 60 investigators from 16 medical schools.
Mike Levine has served as President of two national societies, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (2006) and the American Epidemiological society (2001). He has also received multiple honors for his public health and humanitarian efforts. Among these are the Rank of “Grand Officer of the National Order of Mali” presented on behalf of the President of Mali, His Excellency Amadou Toumani Touré, for efforts in developing and distributing vaccines to the children of Mali. This honor is traditionally bestowed only to heads of state; (past recipients include U.S. President Jimmie Carter and President Jacques Chirac of France). In the January 2002 issue of Baltimore Magazine, Myron Levine was featured as one of ten “Baltimoreans of the Year”, an honor bestowed in recognition of improving the way of life in Baltimore in 2001; (another recipient that year was baseball hall of fame inductee Cal Ripken, Jr.).
Dr. Levine is a tireless provider of service to the international community in the area of public policy on immunizations and on strategies to foster the development of vaccines against diseases of particular importance to the developing and tropical world. He has served on multiple World Health Organization committees and advisory groups and repeatedly as an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He served as a member of the initial Working Group of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), 1999 –2002 and as Co-Chair of GAVI’s Task Force on Research and Development. He also serves on a Board of the Institute of Medicine and on multiple IOM committees (and during the past 12 months has Chaired two Institute of Medicine Committees).
Two recent phenomena, “emerging infections” and bioterrorism, have underscored the importance of the area in which Mike Levine carries out research. The general public, as well as scientists and health professionals have come to recognize that the world’s human population comprises a “global village”, and that most pathogens have global reservoirs that do not respect national borders.
Professor Margaret A. Liu, obtained an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, a B.A. in Chemistry, summa cum laude, from Colorado College, and passed the Epreuve pour le Diplôme d’Enseignement, à l’unanimité (judges’ unanimous decision), in piano from the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, and is the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Science. She completed Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Endocrinology, all at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She received Board Certification in Internal Medicine and in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Liu was a Visiting Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, a Visiting Professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and the recipient of an NIH Physician Scientist Award. She served as Senior Director at Merck Research Laboratories, Vice President of Vaccines Research and Gene Therapy at Chiron Corporation, Vice-Chairman of Transgène, Senior Advisor in Vaccinology at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Executive Vice-Chair of the International Vaccine Institute, and was on the US NIH NIAID Council.
Her research has focused on novel technologies for vaccines and immune treatments for cancer. She pioneered the development of DNA vaccines, which are now in clinical trials for many human diseases and are licensed for several veterinary applications. She also was an innovator in the field of bispecific antibodies to activate T cells for tumor cell killing. The Nobel Committee invited her to lecture in the Karolinska Research Lecture series, and she was named by Discover magazine as one of the 50 most important female scientists. She consults world-wide for companies, investment firms, non-governmental organizations, and governmental scientific advisory bodies, is an Adjunct Professor at UCSF, and is a Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm where her work has focused upon HIV vaccines and cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Liu is the new President of the International Society for Vaccines for the 2015-2017 term, which started at the 9th Annual Vaccine and ISV Congress in Seoul, South Korea.
Dr. Peter Palese is an internationally renowned microbiologist who pioneered the field of reverse genetics for negative-strand RNA viruses, which allows the introduction of site-specific mutations into the genomes of these viruses. This revolutionary technique is crucial for the study of the structure/function relationships of viral genes, for investigation of viral pathogenicity, and for development and manufacture of novel vaccines. The technique has significant implications in understanding and preparing for infectious disease pandemics.
Dr. Palese was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2000 for his seminal studies on influenza viruses. He is also a member of the German Academy of Sciences and a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He serves on the editorial board for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and as an editor for the Journal of Virology. Dr. Palese was President of the Harvey Society in 2004 and President of the American Society for Virology in 2005-2006. His honors include the Robert Koch Prize in 2006 and of the Charles C. Shepard Science Award in 2008.
After earning a PhD in chemistry from the University of Vienna in Austria in 1969, Dr. Palese remained at the university to pursue a master's degree in pharmaceutical science. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in virology at the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey. Dr. Palese joined the Mount Sinai faculty in 1971 as an Assistant Professor of Microbiology. He rose through the ranks and was named Chair of the Department of Microbiology in 1987.
Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin is Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania. Until 1991, he was Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor of Virology at the Wistar Institute and at the same time, Director of Infectious Diseases and Senior Physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 1991, Dr. Plotkin left the University to join the vaccine manufacturer, Pasteur-Mérieux-Connaught, where for seven years he was Medical and Scientific Director, based at Marnes-la-Coquette, outside Paris. The same company is now named Sanofi Pasteur.
Dr. Plotkin’s career includes internship at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital for Sick Children in London and three years in the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control of the US Public Health Service.
He has been chairman of the Infectious Diseases Committee and the AIDS Task Force of the American Academy of Pediatrics, liaison member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and Chairman of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Plotkin received the Bruce Medal in Preventive Medicine of the American College of Physicians, the Distinguished Physician Award of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the Clinical Virology Award of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology, and the Marshall Award of the European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases. In June 1998, he received the French Legion of Honor Medal, in June 2001, the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Sabin Gold Medal in May 2002, and in September 2004 the Fleming (Bristol) Award of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2005. Dr. Plotkin holds honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Rouen (France). A lecture in his honor has been established at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. His bibliography includes over 600 articles and he has edited several books including the standard textbook on vaccines.
He developed the rubella vaccine now in standard use throughout the world, and has worked extensively on the development and application of other vaccines including polio, rabies, varicella, rotavirus and cytomegalovirus.
Dr. Mark K. Slifka earned his B.S. degree in microbiology and molecular biology in 1992 from Washington State University from the UCLA School of Medicine with a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology in 1996, Mark Slifka became a postdoctoral fellow in the department of neuropharmacology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. He came to OHSU as an assistant professor and to ONPRC as an affiliate assistant scientist in 2001 and was promoted to associate professor and associate scientist in 2006. Slifka was promoted to professor in 2011 and to senior scientist in 2013. PhD at the UCLA School of Medicine and currently holds a joint faculty position as a Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Oregon Health & Science University and Senior Scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Dr. Slifka also serves as President and CSO of Najít Technologies, Inc. Dr. Slifka sets expansive goals for NTI’s vaccine development pipeline, identifying significant target pathogens and engaging a talented group of partners to advance these important vaccine programs. Dr. Slifka has published >80 research articles and reviews, including papers in prestigious biomedical journals. He has been quoted in >200 news articles. Dr. Slifka has served on academic review panels for both governmental and private institutions.
Dr. Annie De Groot is a physician and Research Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Rhode Island and co-founder and CEO/CSO of the immunoinformatics company EpiVax. She founded and directs the Institute for Immunology and Informatics at the University of Rhode Island, one of the first centers of excellence for immunoinformatics-driven vaccine design in the world. Dr. De Groot graduated from Smith College with a BA and from the Pritzker School of Medicine at University of Chicago. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Tufts New England Medical Center in 1986 and completed fellowships in Parasitology and Vaccine Research at the NIH (1989) and in Infectious Disease at the Tufts New England Medical Center (1993). While still an assistant professor at Brown University, Dr. De Groot and Bill Martin (COO/CIO EpiVax) co-founded EpiVax (1998) to use the immunoinformatics tools that De Groot had developed to design epitope-driven vaccines; services were then expanded to offer immunogenicity screening services for protein therapeutics in 2002. She led the team that discovered Tregitopes in 2008 and a new tool for predicting Treg epitopes, JanusMatrix. She is most excited about the relevance of this tool for the development of improved vaccines. In addition to her research on vaccines, Dr. De Groot has also contributed to the care of HIV-infected women inmates at the Yale HIV in Prison program and the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Framingham, and founded the GAIA Vaccine Foundation (in West Africa) for improving global AIDS treatment. De Groot is also volunteer medical director at Clinica Esperanza (Hope Clinic), a free clinic for Rhode Island residents who do not have health insurance.
Dr. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre is a Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and co-director of the Global Health & Emerging Pathogens Institute at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Dr. García-Sastre earned his Ph.D at the University of Salamanca. He is the Director of the Global Health & Emerging Pathogens Institute. He is also Principal Investigator for the Center for Research on Influenza Pathogenesis (CRIP), one of five NIAID Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS). He served as the President for the International Society for Vaccines from 2013-2015, which is termed ended at the recent 9th Annual Vaccine and ISV Congress in Seoul. For the past 20 years, his research interest has been focused on the molecular biology of influenza viruses and several other negative strand RNA viruses. During his postdoctoral training in the early 1990s, he developed for the first time, novel strategies for expression of foreign antigens by a negative strand RNA virus, influenza virus. He has made major contributions to the influenza virus field, including 1) the development of reverse genetics techniques allowing the generation of recombinant influenza viruses from plasmid DNA (studies in collaboration with Dr. Palese); 2) the generation and evaluation of influenza virus vectors as potential vaccine candidates against different infectious diseases, including malaria and AIDS; 3) the identification of the biological role of the non structural protein NS1 of influenza virus during infection: the inhibition of the type I interferon (IFN) system; and 4) the reconstruction and characterization of the extinct pandemic influenza virus of 1918. His studies provided the first description and molecular analysis of a viral-encoded IFN antagonist among negative strand RNA viruses. These studies led to the generation of attenuated influenza viruses containing defined mutations in their IFN antagonist protein that might prove to be optimal live vaccines against influenza. His research has resulted in more than 100 scientific publications and reviews. He was among the first members of the Vaccine Study Section of the NIH. In addition, he is an editor for Journal of Experimental Medicine and PLoS Pathogens and a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Virology, Virology, Journal of General Virology and Virus Research.
Dr. Peter Nara is currently Chief Executive Officer, President, Chairman & co- founder of Biological Mimetics, Inc., a biotechnology company founded to translate the theory of “Deceptive Imprinting” and the “Immune Refocusing” Technology, for preventative vaccines, novel immunotherapeutics and diagnostics in both human and veterinary medicine. Previously, Dr. Nara was the Section Chief of the Vaccine Resistant Diseases Section, Division of Basic Sciences, Office of the Director at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
The world renowned influenza virologist Professor John Oxford is Scientific Director of Retroscreen Virology Ltd., and Professor of Virology at St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospital, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. British-born, his research interest is the pathogenicity of influenza, in particular the 1918 Spanish Influenza strain. This research has been featured on science television programmes in the UK, USA, Germany and The Netherlands. Professor Oxford was fortunate in his early career to work under Sir Charles Stuart-Harris, who in 1933 had isolated the influenza virus and who was a great inspiration to the young John Oxford. Professor Oxford then moved to Canberra to work under Professor Graeme Laver, whose work with the crystallization of the influenza protein formed the basis for the development of the Tamiflu vaccine.
Co-author of two standard texts: “Influenza, the Viruses and the Disease” with Sir Charles Stuart-Harris and G.C. Schild, and most recently “Human Virology: A Text for Students of Medicine, Dentistry and Microbiology,” now in its third edition, Professor Oxford is a prolific communicator. He also makes time to give numerous interviews on BBC Radio and Television, and is a frequent contributor to the BBC News website. Professor Oxford has published 250 scientific papers.
He is especially proud of Retroscreen Virology, which he established in 1989 with the help of EU funding. Retroscreen Virology has grown into Europe’s leading contract virology research company. Its work is dedicated to creating the next generation of antivirals and vaccines in the field of biomedical research. It is the only company in the UK able to conduct human influenza challenge studies in a specialised quarantine unit with A/Panama/2007/99 and A/New Caledonia/20/99 viruses and has characterised influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and B viruses. Recently the company cultivated the SARS virus in its containment laboratory and has investigated virucides and lozenges for major pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Ray Spier has been a leader in vaccines and the founder of ISV.
Having been educated at Christ Church, Oxford and University College, London in Biochemistry (First Class Honours), Chemical Microbiology and Biochemical Engineering he then spent 7 years as a Senior Process Engineer in industry. The last 3 years in America were spent with Merck Sharpe and Dohme where he was introduced to animal cell biotechnology and the production of viruses for use in veterinary and human vaccines. On returning to the UK he worked for 10 years at the Animal Virus Research Institute, Pirbright, scaling-up bioreactors for virus vaccine production processes and maximizing the biological productivity of the BHK cell lines for Foot-and-Mouth Disease virus generation. He then moved to the University of Surrey as Professor and was Head of Microbiology (7 years) and was then (1997) appointed to the first chair in the UK in ‘Science and Engineering Ethics’. His publication record includes over 200 research papers and reviews along with over 20 edited books and an encyclopedia on animal and plant cell culture technology. In 2002 his book, ‘Ethics Tools and the Engineer’, was published by CRC Press. He is currently the Vaccine Series Editor in Chief, and Editor in Chief of Vaccine Research Quarterly, Procedia in Vaccinology, Trials in Vaccinology and ‘Science and Engineering Ethics’. Having founded the European Society for Animal Cell Technology in 1975 and the International Society for Vaccines in 1996 (President: 2007-11), he was elected to be President of the European Association for Higher Education in Biotechnology in 2000.