Organised by Professor Adrian Hill and Professor Brian Greenwood FRS
Download the programme here (PDF).
Biographies and audio recordings are available below.
Professor Adrian Hill, University of Oxford, UK
Adrian Hill trained at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford is now
Professor of Human Genetics and Director of the Jenner Institute at
Oxford University. He leads research programmes in genetic
susceptibility to tropical infectious diseases and in vaccine design and
As a founder member of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
since 1994 his research group has studied multiple genetic factors
associated with or genetically linked to resistance to malaria,
tuberculosis, bacterial pneumonia, and viral infections such as
hepatitis B and C and HIV. His group has pioneered genome-wide linkage
and association analyses of genetic susceptibility to common human
infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis, more recently as part of
the Wellcome Trust case control consortium. Data on immunogenetic
susceptibility factors have provided new insights into the impact of
infections on human genomic diversity.
He has published over 350 research papers, is a Fellow of the UK Academy
of Medical Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians, and a NIHR
Professor Brian Greenwood FRS
Brian Greenwood qualified in medicine at the University of Cambridge, UK in 1962. Following house-officer appointments in London, he spent 3 years in Western Nigeria as a medical registrar and research fellow at University College Hospital, Ibadan. After receiving training in clinical immunology in the UK, he returned to Nigeria in 1970, this time to help in establishing a new medical school at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he developed his research interests in malaria and meningococcal disease whilst continuing to teach and practice both adult and paediatric medicine.
In 1980, he moved to the UK Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia which he directed for the next 15 years. In The Gambia, he helped to establish a multi-disciplinary research programme which focused on some of the most important infectious diseases prevalent in The Gambia and neighbouring countries such as malaria, pneumonia, measles, meningitis, hepatitis and HIV2. Work undertaken during this period included demonstration of the efficacy of insecticide treated bednets in preventing death from malaria in African children and demonstration of the impact of Haemophilusinfluenzae type b and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines when deployed in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 1996, he was appointed to the staff of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he is now Manson Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine. From 2001 -2008 he directed the Gates Malaria Partnership which supported a programme of research and capacity development in many countries in Africa directed at improving treatment and prevention of malaria. In 2008, he became director of a new malaria research capacity development initiative, supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Malaria Capacity Development Consortium, which supports a post-graduate malaria training programme in five universities in sub-Saharan Africa. He is also director of a new consortium which is studying the epidemiology of meningococcal infection in Africa prior to the introduction of a new conjugate vaccine.
Brian Greenwood has published over 600 papers on a variety of infectious diseases but particularly malaria. He has acted as an advisor to WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a number of public private partnerships and pharmaceutical companies engaged in the development of drugs or vaccines for use in the developing world.
Professor Brian Greenwood FRS
Dr James Merson, Vaccine Research, Pfize Inc, USA
James is SVP and head of Vaccine Research West which has sites in the US (La Jolla) and Canada (Ottawa). He is accountable for developing both prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for smoking cessation, asthma, Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and several infectious diseases.
James joined Pfizer, Sandwich, UK, in 1988 establishing Pfizer’s research efforts for HIV antiviral compounds. As head of the Antivirals therapeutic area, his research saw the discovery of HIV antiviral medicines such as Maraviroc (CCR5 antagonist), UK-453061 (NNRTI in PhII), PF-232795, (CCR5 antagonist in PhII), a novel inhibitor for HCV (PF-868554 in PhII). He lead Pfizer’s first effort into gene therapy with Immusol for treating HIV, and as head of the Hit Discovery Group, established a Pfizer-wide process for the discovery of novel chemical matter through the use of Evotec and Aurora high throughput screening technologies.
James led the Vaccine Research Strategy team responsible for determining Pfizer’s investments in 2006 to establish a vaccine business leading to the acquisition of PowderMed, Coley Pharmaceuticals, and a collaboration with Cytos. James led the vaccines integration team responsible for merging the Pfizer and Wyeth vaccine portfolios and R&D organizations.
James received his BA (Hons) in Biology in 1983 from Bellarmine College, Louisville, Kentucky and PhD in 1988 in Microbiology and Immunology from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, US. He is a member of the BSI, ISV, and is an adjunct professor at the Scripps Research Institute.
Dr Joachim Hombach, Initiative for Vaccine Research, World Health Organization, Switzerland
Dr Joachim Hombach is acting Head of the World Health Organization's Initiative for Vaccine Research (IVR). In his former managerial positions at IVR, he was in charge of policy & strategy and implementation research. He also served as focal point for the flavivirus vaccine portfolio, with particular emphasis on dengue and Japanese encephalitis vaccines.
Before joining WHO, Dr Hombach had a career in vaccine research and implementation policy, with a focus on vaccines for the developing world. In this context, he had assignments as Director of vaccine policy at GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA, and as Scientific Officer with the European Commission. In the latter function, he was seminal in setting up the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership. He also served as board member of the European Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
Dr Hombach started his career as a researcher in molecular and cellular immunology, where he worked at the University of Zürich, Switzerland and the Max-Planck Institute for Immunology in Freiburg, Germany. He holds a PhD from the University of Cologne, Germany. He also holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States of America. Multiple peer-reviewed publications have emerged from his work.
Mr Jon Pearman, Director, GAVI Alliance, UK
Jon Pearman joined GAVI as Head, Accelerated Vaccine Introduction (AVI) on December 1st 2008. Jon was previously senior marketing director at Berna Biotech (Crucell), covering Asia, Latin America and Africa. He led multidisciplinary development project teams responsible for penta, hepatitis B, yellow fever, typhoid, cholera and measles rubella vaccines, and was a member of the malaria vaccine and rabies monoclonal antibody early-stage development project teams.
Previously, Jon spent 10 years at GSK, including 6 years based in Nairobi covering the East Africa region, where he was responsible for commercialisation of GSK's portfolio of pharma and consumer products, including the polio, meningitis, typhoid, penta and tetra vaccines. In Kenya, he initiated social mobilization campaigns for polio national immunization days, and a hepatitis B full-media public awareness campaign which earned a Pearl Award for communication.
Jon has an Msc from Durham University, in molecular biology and biochemistry and spent two years at Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) after completing his degree.
Dr Cyril Gay, United States Department of Agriculture, USA
Dr Ted Bianco, Wellcome Trust, UK
Professor Peter Hotez, Sabin Vaccine Institute, USA
Poverty related diseases
Dr Hotez received a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry magna cum laude (phi beta kappa) from Yale University, a PhD from Rockefeller University, and a Doctorate in Medicine from Weill Cornell Medical College. He obtained pediatric residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital, and postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr Hotez’s research focuses on vaccine development for parasitic diseases, with an emphasis on recombinant vaccines for hookworm and schistosomiasis. He is Director and Principal Investigator of the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative (HHVI), a product development partnership supported by the Gates Foundation and other sources. Dr Hotez also has a strong policy interest to promote the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and in 2006 at the Clinton Global Initiative Dr Hotez helped to co-found the Global Network for NTDs for providing access to essential NTD drugs.
In 2007, Dr Hotez became the founding Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases and he is currently the President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. Dr Hotez has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles as well as several books, including Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases (ASM Press).
Professor Richard Adegbola, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Infectious Diseases Development, Global Health Program, USA
Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, he was Head of the Bacterial Diseases Programme at the UK MRC Laboratories in The Gambia. In addition to his MRC appointment he was a member of WHO Meningitis Vaccine Project Advisory Group and Vice Chair of EDCTP Board at The Hague. He was awarded the title and status of Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation by University of Leicester in England in 2005 and served as a member of the Gambia Government Inter-Agency Committee for immunization and member of National Polio Expert Committee for The Gambia from 2001 to 2009.
Dr Orin Levine, International Vaccine Access Center, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA
Dr David Heymann, Health Protection Agency, UK
Before joining WHO, Dr Heymann worked for 13 years as a medical epidemiologist in sub-Saharan Africa on assignment from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this capacity he supported ministries of health in designing and implementing programmes in infectious disease prevention and control, with emphasis on childhood diseases, malaria and the African haemorrhagic fevers. He also worked in India for two years as a medical epidemiologist with the WHO Smallpox Eradication Programme.
Dr Faye Ioannou, European Medicines Agency, UK
EU / SANCO / Veterinary
Dr Michael Perdue, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, USA
US government perspective
Professor Margaret Liu, ProTherImmune and Karolinska Institute, USA and Sweden
Cancer and therapeutic vaccines
Margaret A Liu, obtained an MD from Harvard Medical School then completed Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Endocrinology, all at Massachusetts General Hospital with 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, 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, and Senior Advisor in Vaccinology at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr Liu currently consults in the fields of vaccine and immunotherapy and is a Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. She is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, and is a member of various boards including the SAB of the Jenner Vaccine Institute, and served on: the NIH NIAID Council.
Dr Liu was named one of “The 50 Most Important Women Scientists” by Discover magazine in 2002. Her pioneering work in DNA vaccines has led to her receipt of honorary lectureships, including the Rose Lectureship, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Inaugural Saul Krugman Memorial Lecture, New York University, the M. R. Hilleman Lecture, Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, the Walter F Enz Memorial Lecture Series, The University of Kansas, the Oon International Fellowship in Preventive Medicine, Cambridge University, England, and the Karolinska Research Lecture series at the invitation of the Nobel Committee.
Dr Ted Bianco, Wellcome Trust, UK
Chair Session 3
Professor Adrian Hill, University of Oxford, UK
Academia perspective, Organiser
Dr Bryan Charleston, Institute of Animal Health, UK
Dr François Meurice, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, UK
New childhood vaccines
Dr Meurice spent many years practicing medicine in African countries, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Upon returning from Africa, he studied Public Health at the Catholic University of Louvain, and in 1991 joined GSK Biologicals (then SmithKline Beecham Biologicals) as Clinical Project Manager. He was later appointed Director of Clinical Research and Development and Medical Affairs, North America, Anti-infectives/Biologicals. In 1996, Dr Meurice returned to Belgium to become Director of Project Management for Paediatric Vaccines and later, Group Director of Clinical Development for Adult Vaccines. In 2001, he was appointed as Vice President for Vaccines Clinical and Medical Affairs in Europe. Dr Meurice has authored or co-authored a number of papers in peer-reviewed journals, including a large-scale efficacy trial of vaccination against Lyme disease in the US, papers on hepatitis, rotavirus and varicella vaccines, on booster formulation of a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (DTPa) vaccine, and comparisons of two hexavalent vaccines.
Dr Mair Powell, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, UK
Mair Powell trained in London and after several posts in various medical specialties took up clinical microbiology in which she held an academic post at London University for 6 years. She then worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry for 5 years, based in the US but running studies with vaccines and anti-infectives world wide (including US and Canada). She has worked in drug regulation (handling vaccines and anti-infectives) for 15 years and is the main author of several of the EU guidelines on clinical development as well as assisting WHO in drafting the clinical sections of their vaccine guidelines. She is a member of the EMA/CHMP Vaccine Working Party and Chair of the Infectious Disease Working Party.
Dr Myron Levine, Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland, USA
Chair Session 4
Professor David Salisbury CB, Department of Health, UK
Professor Salisbury graduated from London University in 1969. He trained as a paediatrician at Oxford and at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health. He has an honorary Chair at Imperial College, London. Professor Salisbury was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the Queen’s 2001 Birthday Honours.
In addition to his UK responsibilities, Professor Salisbury works extensively for the WHO on the Global Programme for Vaccines. He was the Chairman of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccines from 2005 to 2010, is Chairman of the European Region Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication, and is a member of the Eastern Mediterranean Polio Elimination Certification Commission, and the South East Asian Polio Elimination Certification Commission. During 2009, Professor Salisbury chaired the WHO H1N1 vaccine working group. He is Co-chairman of the Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Group for the Global Health Security Action Group of G7 countries. He is an adjunct member of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety and is a Liaison Member of the US Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices and the US National Vaccine Advisory Committee. He also chairs the European Vaccine Advisory Group for the European Centre for Disease Control and is a member of the Policy and Practice Committee of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.
Professor Salisbury has written around 80 publications on immunisation and paediatric topics.
Dr Arnd Hoeveler, Health Biotechnology Unit, European Commission, Belgium
Between 2001 and 2006 he served as Head of Unit, covering Infectious Diseases, and led several European programmes dealing with HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
In October 2006 he took charge of the European Commission's Health Biotechnology programme, dealing with Diagnostics, Regenerative Medicine, Animal Replacement Strategies, Child Health, and the Innovative Medicine Initiative.
He is a board member of the European Federation of Immunological Societies and serves on several International Advisory Boards.
Dr Odile Leroy, European Vaccine Initiative, Germany
EMVI has broadened its scope to other poverty-related diseases vaccine in 2009, and became EVI.
Trained as a physician, epidemiology, clinical pharmacology and vaccinology, Dr Odile Leroy has spent most of her carrier in vaccine development, as a scientist in Africa for 9 years, as corporate clinical director of airborne vaccines for 10 years at Pasteur Mérieux Connaught (now Sanofi Pasteur). She joined EMVI in 2002 as clinical and regulatory director. From 2005 to 2006 she led as executive director the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP).
She is member of the Science Board of the Brighton Collaboration, coordinator of several EC funded vaccine, and member of the WHO product development group for the measles aerosol project.
Dr Mike Witty, GALVmed, UK
Dr Myron Levine, Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland, USA
Dr Steve Chatfield, Emergent BioSolutions, UK
Previously, Steve was Director of the Health Protection Agency Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response (CEPR), and manages its Porton Down site. CEPR is responsible for the development of threat disease models, diagnostic capability, and vaccines. Its high containment laboratories are used to identify imported dangerous microbial pathogens such as Ebola or pathogens used in deliberate release i.e. bioterrorism. The HPA Emergency Response Department is also based on the Porton Down site.
Steve was formerly CEO and President of Emergent Product Development UK Limited and Chief Scientific Officer of Emergent BioSolutions, inc. Steve has spent 30 years working in the field of vaccine research and development within Industry, previously working at Microscience Ltd, Medeva PLC, Evans Medical, Wellcome Biotechnology and the Wellcome Foundation. He has had a broad range of experience and responsibilities encompassing all phases of vaccine development, including research, process and analytical development, toxicology, GMP manufacture, regulatory submissions and clinical studies in both Europe and the US, including compilation and submission of MAA and BLA dossiers. He has also written expert reports in support of regulatory submissions. His research efforts have focused on the molecular basis of pathogenicity of bacterial and viral infections. Much of this work has directed towards the development of novel vaccines and immunotherapeutics, particularly those that can be delivered by the oral route using live bacterial vectors. He has published over 95 papers in this field, written several book chapters and is regularly invited to speak at international meetings on vaccine R&D."
Dr Ronald Kompier, Crucell, The Netherlands
Building open to public 19-20 Sep
Stephen Sparks and Jim Al-Khalili 28 Sep
Enter your address to receive regular emails about public events at the Royal Society.
Full listing of our events and exhibitions.
Watch videos of past events.
Most of our talks are free and open to the public.
We host major conferences for leading scientists.
Explore our annual science exhibition.
Contact the events team.