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. 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.
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 Medical Degree (MD honoris causa) from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and an honorary Doctorate of Science from Colorado College. 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, and has held positions as an Adjunct Professor at UCSF, and as a Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institutet. Dr. Liu was previously the President of the International Society for Vaccines for the 2015- 2017 term, then President Emerita, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of ISV (2020-2021).
Marc P. Girard received his doctorate in veterinary medicine at Paris University in 1960, and his doctorate in Science in 1967, also in Paris. He trained for three years in the molecular biology of poliovirus as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the USA with Pr James Darnell, Renato Dulbecco and David Baltimore. He went on studying the molecular biology and genetics of poliovirus, then SV40 and adenovirus, before moving to HIV. He was a visiting professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Pr Hurwitz), the NIH (Dr Anthony Fauci), the Salk Institute in La Jolla (Pr David Baltimore) and Duke University (Pr Bolognesi). He worked for the last 20 years of his career on the development of an HIV vaccine.
Pr Girard was the Director General of the Mérieux Foundation in Lyon from mid 2001 to end of 2004. He previously was the Director of the Center for Research in Immuno-Virology (CERVI) in Lyon, France, which includes the BSL4 Virology Laboratory that was operated jointly by the Mérieux Foundation and the Pasteur Institute, and the Federative Research Institute on Virology, Immunology and Pathology of Emerging Diseases (IFR 74), a research laboratory of the French National Health & Medical Research Institute (INSERM).
Among the positions held by Pr Girard prior to his appointment in Lyon were Head, Department of Virology, and Professor, Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Institut Pasteur, Paris (1980-1999); Scientific Director (CSO), Pasteur Vaccins, a joint industrial subsidiary of the Pasteur and Mérieux Institutes (1984-1990); Vice-Director of the Pasteur Institute, Paris (1990-92), Professor of Virology and Molecular Biology at University Paris 7 Denis Diderot, Paris (1974-1984; on leave until 2001).
Pr Girard was the Chairman of the Concerted Action “Vaccines” at the French National AIDS Research Agency (ANRS) from 1988 to 1998. He then chaired the E.U. HIV Vaccine Initiative “EuroVac”, an international AIDS vaccine Research Consortium which grouped together 21 European laboratories participating in comparative Phase I clinical trials of candidate HIV vaccines in human volunteers.
Marc Girard went on official retirement in 2004 but he has remained active, teaching, giving talks and writing review articles on vaccines as an Honorary Professor at University Denis Diderot (Paris 7). He also is a member of the French National Academy of Medicine and of the French Veterinary Academy. He has been the organizer of the “Cent Gardes Conference” on HIV Vaccines since 1986.
Prof. Ken Ishii is currently appointed as Director for Vaccine and Adjuvant Research Center (CVAR) at National Institutes for Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition (NIBIOHN) recently established by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) of Japanese government, as well as Professor of the Laboratory of Vaccine Science at the Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFREC), Osaka University in Japan. He is also affiliated as Science and Technology Advisor for Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), Japan. Prof. Ishii graduated with a MD in 1993, practiced medicine for 4 years and then obtained a PhD from the School of Medicine, Yokohama City University, Kanagawa, Japan. He is further qualified with his years of experience in vaccine research supported by numerous books and over 180 periodical publications over 20,000 citations since 1998 including 7 years as a Visiting Scientist and IND reviewer at US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and 14 years in Osaka University and NIBIOHN. His H-index is 56 and elected as one of highly cited researchers for 3 years in raw (2014-16) by Thomson Reuters (Clarivate Analytics as of 2016). Based on his career, he conducts basic research on immunology related to vaccines and adjuvants and try to translate into vaccine markets globally.
Professor Palatnik de Sousa is a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (1980), Master of Science (Microbiology) from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1983) and PhD in Microbiology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1989). She is currently a full professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
She has a large experience in the field of Parasitology, with emphasis in Vaccinology, acting mainly in the following subjects: adjuvants, saponins, vaccine, canine vaccine and visceral leishmaniasis. She is a permanent member of the Postgraduate Program in Microbiology of the Paulo de Góes Institute of UFRJ (since 1991), the Plant Biotechnology and Bioprocesses program, Health and Industry, of the CCS, UFRJ, from 2014 and a visitant member of the Health Science program of the Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil. She was the only Latin American member of the Executive Board of the International Society for Vaccines supported by the Vaccine-Elsevier Journal and the One-Health Scientific Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). She was Editor in Chief of Procedia in Vaccinology of Elsevier and obtained the title of Fellow of the International Society for Vaccines, in recognition of her contribution in the field of vaccinology and contribution to the society.
She has developed several diagnostic tests for human and canine visceral leishmaniasis and described the possible transmission of the disease by blood transfusion. In addition, she studied the impact of the epidemiological control of the visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil. She developed the first 2nd generation vaccine licensed against canine visceral leishmaniasis (FML-saponin-Leishmune® (Pfizer-Zoetis) and a DNA vaccine based on the nucleoside hydrolase NH36, which is the main component of the FML antigen. She is currently engaged in the development of a synthetic epitope or chimeric vaccine based on the NH36 domains and epitopes in the murine model. Likewise, it leads the group investigating which NH36 epitopes, chimeras and domains are recognized by PBMCs from human patients of visceral or cutaneous leishmaniasis. She is interested in the molecular aspects of the interaction of the epitopes of NH36 and the receptors of the major histocompatibility complexes.
Dr. Joon Haeng Rhee is a graduate of Chonnam National University Medical School and received PhD from the same university. He has been working on molecular microbial pathogenesis and vaccine biology for more than 30 years.
For the molecular microbial pathogenesis studies, his laboratory has been observing the V. vulnificus-host interactions using various molecular and cellular microbiological tools. His team was the first reporter of the whole genome sequence of V. vulnificus, which became one of the most widely used standard strains in the Vibrio research field. They identified an RTX (repeats in toxin) toxin as the culprit of deadly host-killing mechanism in the V. vulnificus infections and recently developed an effective preventive vaccine and therapeutic monoclonal antibody targeting a specific region of the toxin. Vaccine study was first started aiming the high mortality V. vulnificus infections. During the vaccine research, his team came across the finding that a flagellin protein of V. vulnificus has an excellent mucosal adjuvant effect in late 1990s, which was later proved by his group and others to be mediated by the TLR5 signaling. Currently his laboratory is studying the basic science and applications related to the flagellin-TLR5-mediated immune modulation. His team reported the mechanism how TLR5 is very well maintained in senescent animals and proposed that flagellin could be used an effective adjuvant for vaccines against infectious diseases affecting elderly population. Now flagellin is applied to the development of effective vaccines and immunotherapeutics against diverse diseases such as cancers, allergies, and Alzheimer’s disease.
He was the president of Korean Vaccine Society (KVS) from 2013 to 2015. He hosted the 2015 International Society for Vaccines (ISV) Congress in Seoul as a local co-chair. He was elected as an ISV Fellow and serves a member of ISV Executive Board. He served editorial board member for Infection and Immunity and Microbiology and Immunology journals. He is currently the director of Clinical Vaccine R&D Center and Combinatorial Tumor Immunotherapy Research Center of Chonnam National University. As of August 2021, he has more than 160 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and named as an inventor on 20 patents
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.
Dr. Jeffrey Ulmer has been an active scientist in the vaccines community since completing his post-doctoral fellowship in 1990. He has published more than 200 scientific papers in various aspects of vaccines discovery and development, is named as a co-inventor on eleven patents, serves on the editorial boards of three journals, and has been on the scientific advisory boards of many academic laboratories and biotechnology companies. During his career in the vaccines industry, he has held scientific and management positions in the Vaccines divisions of Merck Research Laboratories, Chiron Corporation, Novartis and GSK. His various leadership roles and responsibilities have included: Platform Technology Leader (DNA, RNA vaccines), Project Leader (Tuberculosis, SARS); Department Head (Immunology & Cell Biology), Global Function Head (External Research), US Site Head Research, Head Preclinical R&D, and Program Head Technical R&D.
Dr. David B. Weiner directs a translational molecular immunology research team focused on synthetic nucleic acid-based approaches for disease prevention and treatment. His group is one of the first research teams in the field of Nucleic Acid Vaccines & Immune Therapies, advancing some of their first clinical trials. His lab has contributed to multiple aspects and technology developments in advancing DNA vaccines. Work resulted in clinical studies of an early Zika vaccine, the first MERS vaccine, an advanced Ebola Vaccine, a SARS-CoV2 Vaccine and a novel HIV immunogen platform, among others in the infectious disease arena. In oncology his laboratory has helped to advance novel immune therapy approaches for HPV disease, prostate disease, GMB immunotherapy which are in clinical testing. This year a therapeutic DNA vaccine (HPV CIN) (VGX3100) moved into a licensure trial (REVEAL). His lab work is also advancing dMAb in vivo antibody technologies for immune prevention and therapy.
Dr. Weiner’s laboratory has published over 430 papers/chapters & reviews and provided > 450 lectures. He has received several awards/honors, including the WW Smith Family Chair in Cancer Research - 2016, Vaccine Industry Association Outstanding Academic Research Laboratory (2015 & 2016) (runner up 2017, 2018, 2019), Top 20 Translational Research Laboratories of the Year (Nature Biotechnology 2016 - 2020), Stone family award for Cancer Research 2014, NIH Directors Translational Research Award 2011, and the Pennsylvania Life Sciences Achievement Award (2019). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 and a Fellow of the International Society for Vaccines 2010. He served as President of the International Society for Vaccines (2018-2020). He serves on the Executive Committee of the UPENN CFAR and served as chair of the prestigious Gene Therapy and Vaccine Training Program at the University of Pennsylvania (2004-2016). He is currently a Wistar Institute Professor, Director of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center and the Executive Vice President of the Wistar Institute, and a Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Weiner has been an avid teacher, trainer, advisor, and advocate for students, fellows and junior faculty as he is highly committed to developing of the careers of young scientists.