The International Vaccine Institute exchanged a memorandum of understanding with the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology (MPIIB) of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (MPS), Germany, in a move to beef up their collaboration in infectious disease and vaccine research.
The agreement was signed by IVI Director John D. Clemens and Prof. Stefan Kaufmann, Director of the Department of Immunology, MPIIB, representing the MPS on April 13. The agreement was exchanged in the presence of the Korean First Lady Madam Kwon Yang-suk who endorsed IVI´s expanded ties with the Berlin-based institute. Madam Kwon, who is serving as the Honorary President of IVI´s support committee, was visiting Germany during President Roh Moo-hyun´s European tour.
The IVI has been closely collaborating with the MPIIB for years. The IVI is carrying out a joint project on the molecular epidemiology of typhoid fever with the German institute, while Prof. Kaufmann is a founding member of IVI´s Scientific Advisory Group (SAG).
Under the MOU, the two sides will cooperate in the fields of vaccine development, research and training. Specifically, they will take on the development of vaccines against tuberculosis, and seek joint academic events and personnel exchange for developing country scientists, including post-doctoral fellowships. They will also collaborate in clinical trials of vaccines both in industrialized and developing country populations; develop joint laboratory research projects in immunology and microbial genetics and pathogenesis; and evaluate innovative diagnostics.
The IVI, based in Korea, is the world´s only international research organization devoted exclusively to research and development of new vaccines for the poor in developing countries. Its research programs are being conducted in 21 developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Established in 1993 under the MPS, MPIIB specializes in immunology, molecular biology, cellular microbiology, RNA biology, and lymphocyte development.