- Christian Lienhardt, IRD, Montpellier, France
- Willem Hanekom, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, U.S
- Roland Brosch, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
- Marcel Behr, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Canada
- Philip Supply, Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille, Lille, France
- Hazel Dockrell, London School of Hygiene and Tropcial Medicine, London, United Kingdom
- Stephen Gordon, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
- Leander Grode, Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH, Hannover, Germany
- Luciana C. Leite, Centre de Biotecnologia, Instituto Butantan, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Carlos Martin, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
- Peter Aaby, Research Centre for Vitamins and Vaccines, Bandim Health Project, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Mihai Netea, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
- Donald Lamm, University of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona, US
- Delphine Lee, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, CA, United States
- Denise L. Faustman, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- Gilles Marchal, Paris, France
- Bruno Donini, Sanofi Pasteur, France
I am originally trained as a social anthropologist. Since 1978 I have built a large health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) in Guinea-Bissau. In 1978, under-5 child mortality was 500/1000. Contrary to all expectations, the high case fatality in measles infection (21%) was not due to malnutrition but to the intensity of exposure as secondary case within the family. Intensity of exposure was subsequently shown to explain severity in many childhood infections including pertussis, chickenpox, polio and RSV. We were the first to introduce measles vaccine (MV) in Bissau in 1979. The first MV campaign reduced the overall child mortality level to one-third, an effect not explained by prevention of measles infection. This led to a series of discoveries contradicting the specific-disease-specific-disease paradigm. Vaccines affect general resistance/susceptibility to unrelated infections and these non-specific effects (NSEs) are more important for child survival than the specific preventive effects. A new paradigm emphasizing that the immune system is a learning entity, which can be boosted or misdirected is needed. So far, the live vaccines including BCG, measles vaccine, OPV, and vaccinia have been found to have strong beneficial NSEs. Unfortunately, non-live vaccine often misdirect the immune system leading to higher mortality, particularly for girls. This has been found for at least five non-live vaccines including DTP, IPV, HBV, Penta, and RTS,S malaria vaccine. Sequence of vaccinations, sex-differential effects, boosting and maternal priming are very important features of this new immune training paradigm. Pursuing this paradigm can lead to major reductions in child mortality in low-income countries and to health care cost-savings in rich countries.
Dr. Marcel Behr
Professor of Medicine at McGill University and was the Founding Director of the McGill International tuberculosis (TB) Centre. Dr. Behr’s research uses genetic tools to study the epidemiology and pathogenesis of diseases caused by mycobacteria, including TB (caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis), BCG (the vaccine used against TB) and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (which cause chronic infections in patients with lung disease). His work is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and by Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
Dr. Leander Grode (1970)
Joined VPM in May, 2003. As Manager he was responsible for all of VPM´s projects until June, 2008. After being Director of Business Development since 2008 he became CSO and procurator of VPM in April 2013. He studied biology in Giessen and Frankfurt/Main with focus on cell biology and zoology. As an exchange student, he visited the University of California San Francisco in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the lab of Prof. John Watson. He graduated in 1997 with a degree in biology at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt/Main in the Department of Molecular Membrane Biology under Prof. Hartmut Michel. In the year 2000 he graduated as a PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Infection Biology in the Department of Immunology under Prof. Stefan H.E. Kaufmann. The focus of his thesis was vaccine development against tuberculosis based on live carriers, such as samonella or mycobacterium bovis BCG. Between 2001 and 2003 Leander Grode was the coordinator of the vaccine development group at the MPI in the Department of Immunology.
Stephen Gordon (University College Dublin)
Obtained his BSc from NUI Galway, Ireland (1990), PhD from the University of Leicester, UK (1995) and pursed postdoctoral research at the Institute Pasteur, Paris as a Wellcome Trust Fellow (1995-1999). He started work on bovine TB in 1999 at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge, UK (1999-2007) before assuming his current role in 2008 as Professor in Infection Biology in University College Dublin, Ireland. His work focuses on comparative ‘omic analyses of mycobacterial pathogens as a route to understanding their virulence and evolution, and using this to inform the development of new control tools.
Dr. Bruno Donini
After chemistry studies in Lyon and public health in Nancy, I worked for 17 years in Sanofi Pasteur MSD at various positions, dedicated to vaccines and immunization.
I joined Sanofi Pasteur as a Public Affairs manager France in 2017, where I’m focused on education, promotion of vaccination and fight against vaccines hesitancy.
Trained in pediatrics in Cape Town, and in pediatric infectious diseases at Northwestern University in Chicago. He then completed a postdoc in immunology at Rockefeller University in New York City. He then took a faculty position at the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at University of Miami. Willem returned to South Africa to join the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) at the University of Cape Town. He became Director of SATVI in 2011.
Willem has authored/co-authored >180 scientific publications, and has been successful in generating competitive research funding from the NIH, the EDCTP and the Gates Foundation, among others. He has led multiple research consortia, some of which involved multiple African sites. He was president of both the South African Immunological Society and the Federation of African Immunological Societies, and served on the council of the International Union of Immunological Societies.
Other academic activities have included training postgraduate students and serving as reviewer for international funding agencies, and editor/reviewer for multiple scientific journals. Willem continues to be a member of multiple World Health Organization-affiliated and other international advisory committees in TB vaccine development and translational immunology.
In September 2013 Willem joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as Deputy Director, Global Health, and Initiative Lead for TB vaccines. During 2014, he led a comprehensive refresh of the foundation’s TB vaccine strategy, which is now being implemented.
Luciana C.C. Leite,
PhD, is currently Director of the Laboratory of Vaccine Development at Instituto Butantan. She is an expert in Molecular Biotechnology applied to the Development of Vaccines, especially in the recombinant BCG field and the development of recombinant pneumococcal vaccines, having participated in many of the Brazilian genomic projects with over 100 papers and several patents. She has been Vice-President of Fundação Butantan, Director of the Center of Biotechnology and member of the Steering Committee of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturing Network. She is currently on the National Committee for Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms and on the Academic Management Board of the Leading International Vaccinology Education - Erasmus.
M.D.,Honorary Professor of the Institut Pasteur
Dr. Gilles Marchal is an M.D. who specialized in Immunology and the pathophysiology of mycobacterial infections. He developed his scientific career at the Institut Pasteur where he reached the rank of Professor and headed the Department of Pathophysiology as well as the National Reference Centre for Mycobacteria and Tuberculosis. His scientific work has resulted in 93 papers published in top international journals, 37 reviews papers and in 2 granted patents. He was an active member of the Institut Pasteur Scientific Council as well as a member of the French Society for Immunology, the American Society of Microbiology, the American Association of Immunologists and the International Society of Experimental Hematology.
Carlos Martin MD, PhD
Is Professor of Microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine at University of Zaragoza, Spain, and heads the Mycobacteria Genetics Group since 1992, working in the research and development of new live vaccines against tuberculosis. He aims to develop novel tuberculosis vaccines and vaccination strategies to improve protection against pulmonary TB. He with his team have constructed and characterized MTBVAC, currently starting two advanced Phase 2a dose-defining clinical trials in newborns and adolescents at SATVI in South Africa (NCT02933281 and NCT02729571). He currently works in diverse collaborative research project funded by European Union in tuberculosis between research groups of Europe, Africa and Latin America. He is member of the Advisory Committee of Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI) www.tbvi.eu. Carlos Martin belong to CIBERES, a research network on respiratory diseases of the Spanish Ministry of Health (Instituto de Salud Carlos III).
Hazel M Dockrell
Professor of Immunology
Qualifications: BA (Mod), PhD
Affiliation: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
obtained her first degree in Microbiology from Trinity College, Dublin, received her PhD from University of London (1978) and after a period as a Research Associate at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School (1978-85), she joined the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, initially to work on leprosy, and then on tuberculosis and BCG vaccination. She has contributed to the understanding of the immune responses to tuberculosis and the BCG vaccine, and to the development of TB biomarkers for use in vaccine trials. She has played a major role in the establishment of international collaborative efforts to develop TB vaccines and to identify correlates of protection for TB. A particular interest has been how environment, co-infection, and co-morbidity with diabetes impact on immune signatures induced by BCG and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She is also Special Advisor on Overseas Programmes in Africa at LSHTM.
Received his PhD at the University of Salzburg in Austria and after some years of postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the Institut Pasteur in Paris, he became staff scientist of the Institut Pasteur in 2000. Today, he is Professor and Head of the Integrated Mycobacterial Pathogenomics Unit at the Institut Pasteur. He had important impact on groundbreaking genome projects of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the etiological agent of TB, the BCG vaccine, and the ancestral gene pool of TB-causing mycobacteria (Mycobacterium canettii). He was also involved in pioneering work on the evolution of the M. tuberculosis complex and the discovery and functional characterization of the ESX / type VII secretion system of M. tuberculosis, which both show great importance in host-pathogen interaction and the development of novel vaccine concepts.
Dr. Delphine J. Lee,
Is Chief of Dermatology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and leads her research team at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. She obtained her MD and PhD training at the University of California, San Diego. After an immunology postdoctoral research fellowship through the UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research program, she focused on investigating the host-microbe interaction as it relates to skin disease and cancer. Her previous work in leprosy and anti-mycobacterial responses in skin gradually led her to investigate mechanisms of Bacille Calmette-Gue´rin (BCG)-stimulated antitumor immunity in melanoma skin metastases. Her current research combines high-dimensional ‘omics data, clinical metadata, and basic molecular/cellular techniques to investigate mechanisms and discover strategies against infections, cancers, and skin diseases.
Denise Faustman, MD, PhD,
Is Director of the Immunobiology Laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research objective is to introduce new therapeutic concepts to treat autoimmune diseases with a focus on type 1 diabetes. These studies start with the basic science and translate through clinical trial design, manufacturing and clinical trial implementation. In the Immunobiology Lab, she had lead teams that worked to uncover the basic molecular and immunological mechanisms behind human and murine immune pathogenesis. She is international leader as it relates to the TNF superfamily of receptors with an emphasis on the TNFR2 signaling, a pathway that is deficient in autoimmunity and a pathway used by select microorganism to restore immune balance . She has worked for over 15 years on using surrogate and affordable drugs like the BCG vaccine to speed delivery of the autoimmune innovations to the public. In total, Dr Faustman directs over 7 advanced clinical trials including all the pre-clinical development, drug manufacturing and FDA interface and is the President of the Global Autoimmune Collaboration, an international group aimed to launch affordable healthcare.
Christian Lienhardt, MD, DTM, MSc, PhD,
Is Director of Research at the French Institute for Research on Sustainable Development (IRD), in Montpellier, France, where he is in charge of a research portfolio on tuberculosis and co-morbidities. He is an Infectious and Tropical Disease specialist and Clinical Epidemiologist, graduated from the Universities of Strasbourg (France), and London (UK). After several years as a clinician in France, and working with NGOs, he carried out clinical and epidemiological research on tuberculosis in several countries in Africa. His research work included observational cohort and case-contact studies, international multicentric randomized controlled trials, as well as programmatic and operational research studies. He spent nearly 10 years at the Global TB Programme of the World Health Organisation in Geneva (Switzerland) where he was in charge of support and promotion of TB research in high- and medium TB burden countries, as well as of the evaluation and introduction of new TB drugs and regimens.
Began his study of BCG immunotherapy in 1973 as a resident at UC San Diego, finding that BCG inhibited growth of murine bladder cancer. In 1978, on faculty of the UT San Antonio, he began the first randomized clinical trial to demonstrate that BCG reduced tumor recurrence. That work led to three Southwest Oncology Group studies showing first that BCG immunotherapy was superior to doxorubicin chemotherapy, resulting in the FDA approval of BCG for carcinoma in situ in 1990; second, that BCG was superior to Mitomycin C, leading to approval of BCG for papillary bladder tumor; and third, that 3-week maintenance BCG reduced recurrence and disease worsening compared with BCG induction. Subsequent EORTC studies confirmed that BCG significantly reduced metastasis and death. This 3-week schedule remains the treatment of choice for intermediate and high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
Dr Elisa Nemes
completed her PhD in HIV T-cell Immunology in Italy and France in 2008. She then worked on laboratory capacity building and paediatric immune responses to HIV and TB in Cameroon. She joined SATVI in 2011, where she has been involved in the scientific supervision of clinical trials of BCG and new tuberculosis vaccines; development of immunodiagnostics of M. tuberculosis infection; and basic immunological studies on adaptive and innate immunity to M. tuberculosis in HIV infected and uninfected children, adolescents and adults. Dr Nemes is centrally involved in large collaborative projects aimed at defining immune correlates of protection from M. tuberculosis infection; correlates of risk of TB disease and BCG immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome in different case-control cohorts.
Dr. Camille Locht,
Holds currently a position as Research Director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and, since 2010, is the founding director of the Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille on the campus of the Institut Pasteur de Lille in France. He has obtained his PhD at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 1984. After a 3-years post-doctoral stay at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the USA, where he started to work on pertussis and cloned the pertussis toxin genes, he joined SmithKline – Beecham (now GSK) to help developing acellular pertussis vaccines. Since 1989 he is the head of a research laboratory at the Institut Pasteur de Lille, where he has been the Scientific Director from 2002 to 2013. His research interest is in molecular pathogenesis of respiratory infections, essentially pertussis and tuberculosis, with the long-term aim to develop new tools to combat these diseases. He has authored more than 300 international publications, several book chapters and patents and has obtained several research awards.
Prof. Dr. Mihai G. Netea,
Was born and studied medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He completed his PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on studies investigating the cytokine network in sepsis. After working as a post-doc at the University of Colorado, he returned to Nijmegen where he finished his clinical training as an infectious diseases specialist, and where he currently heads the division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen University Nijmegen Medical Center. He is mainly interested in understanding the factors influencing variability of human immune responses, the biology of sepsis and immunoparalysis, and the study of the memory traits of innate immunity.