A leading expert on human papilloma virus (HPV) - the major cause of cervical cancer -- will give a special lecture on HPV vaccines at the IVI. Dr. John Schiller of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), will give an address on "Prophylactic HPV Vaccines to Prevent Cervical Cancer" September 18 at the IVI.
Dr. Schiller is currently the Chief of the Neoplastic Disease Section of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology at the Center for Cancer Research of the NCI. For the past 20 years, Dr. Schiller has studied various aspects of papilloma virus molecular biology, immunology and epidemiology at the NCI.
Monday´s lecture comes at a time when the public has keen interest in new HPV vaccines after the world´s first vaccine against cervical cancer produced by Merck was recently approved by regulatory agencies in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, and elsewhere. GlaxoSmithKline also has reportedly developed a second candidate HPV vaccine. The approval of the Merck vaccine, however, has left important questions yet to be answered, including its duration of protection and degree of cross-protection against other strains of genital HPV not included in the vaccine.
"These vaccines also raise a number of implementation issues, including the general acceptance of a vaccine targeting a sexually-transmitted infection, the logistics of administering a series of three injections to adolescents or preadolescents, and the impact of the vaccine on compliance with cervical cancer screening programs," Dr. Schiller said. "The high cost of virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine production and distribution will be impediments of particular concern for vaccine implementation in developing countries, where 80% of cervical cancer occurs."
Dr. Schiller´s current interests include basic mechanisms of papilloma virus assembly in infected cells, and the development of HPV vaccines and infection inhibitors. His laboratory led the initial discovery, development, and clinical testing of VLP vaccines to prevent HPV infections that cause cervical cancer.
Dr. Schillar is visiting the IVI from Monday as part of its Scholars in Residence program, which consists of week-long visits to IVI by vaccine experts. The program aims to help the Korean medical community get exposed to the latest developments in vaccinology through public lectures held at the IVI by distinguished vaccinologists, and facilitate exchanges between the Institute and the world´s leading centers of vaccinology. Dr. Schillar is the third vaccinologist to participate in this program this year.
Dr. Schiller earned his bachelor´s degree in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Washington in Seattle.