Vaccines have saved an estimated 500 million lives around the world since Edward Jenner discovered how to prevent smallpox infection in 1796. But a successful vaccine roll-out is about more than just medicine; it encompasses engineering, economics, policy, government and even transport infrastructure. More than a decade into the 21st century, and with a new outbreak of the Ebola virus claiming thousands of lives in Africa, does a successful strategy for creating and delivering new vaccines require a whole new approach?
- Professor Susan Lea, Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Vaccines
- Professor Christoph Tang, Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Vaccines
- Professor Jeffrey Almond, Former Vice President and Head of Discovery Research and External R&D at Sanofi Pasteur
- Dr Ian Feavers, Head of the Division of Bacteriology, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC)
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This seminar will be live webcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCCbW5DHdN0
About the speakers:
Professor Susan Lea is Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Vaccines; Oxford University Statutory Chair of Microbiology and Professorial Fellow at Wadham College.
Susan is primarily interested in what structural biology can help us understand about the way in which pathogens and their hosts first encounter each other. More recently this work has led to potential therapeutic opportunities with structures suggesting opportunities for novel vaccination strategies.
Professor Christoph Tang is Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Vaccines and the Glaxo Professor of Cellular Pathology at the William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford.
His group studies the pathogenesis and prevention of disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis and Shigella flexneri, particularly during interactions with the host innate immune system.
He was previously an MRC Clinician Scientist at the University of Oxford, and completed his PhD at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School on the identification of virulence factors in the fungal pathogen, Aspergillus fumigates. Christoph originally trained in medicine at the University of Liverpool and spent two years working in The Gambia, West Africa.
Professor Jeffrey Almond Former Vice President and Head of Discovery Research and External R&D at Sanofi Pasteur and Visiting Fellow at the William School of Pathology, University of Oxford.
He was lecturer at the University of Leicester from 1979-85 and Professor of Microbiology at the University of Reading 1985-99. He has published extensively, especially in the field of Virology.
His scientific contributions include the first demonstration that a single gene can determine host range – a finding highly relevant to understanding evolution of new pandemic strains; completion of the genetic map of an avian influenza virus, and the first detailed description of the proteins of Influenza B virus. He has also made major contributions to our understanding of polio virus and its vaccines.
In 1985 as a young academic Almond won the Fleming Award for outstanding contribution to microbiological research by a young microbiologist in the UK and the pace and extent of his contributions have not diminished. In his previous role he was responsible for the scientific rationale underpinning approximately 30 vaccine projects covering viruses, bacteria and eukaryotic parasites.
During the BSE crisis he served as coordinator of the BBSRC’s Research programme on the Spongiform Encephalopathies and was a member of the Government’s Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee (SEAC). He is an Elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and in 1999 was awarded the Ivanovsky Medal for “Contributions to the Development of Virology” by The Scientific Council of Virology of Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
Dr Ian Feavers PhD, is Head of the Division of Bacteriology at the NIBSC, UK. He studied for his PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, eventually moving to NIBSC after periods of postdoctoral research at the University of Sheffield and the Friedrich Miescher Institut in Basel.
During the late 1990s, when new conjugate vaccines were being introduced, he headed the laboratory responsible for the control and standardisation of meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. Ian continues to oversee an active research programme on the molecular genetics and immunology of meningococcal and pneumococcal antigens.
Because of his broad experience of bacterial vaccines and molecular biology, he has been closely involved with a number of meningococcal vaccine developments. He regularly contributes to WHO and EU guidelines, serves as one of NIBSC’s representatives on the Vaccine Working Party of the EMA, and is a member of the JCVI subgroup on meningococcal vaccines. Ian teaches on a number of vaccine related courses in the University of London and is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College.