An international workshop on influenza will be held at the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul from 26-27 March 2007 to discuss global preparedness against possible pandemic influenza and vaccine research.
The workshop will bring together several leading scientists from Britain, Korea and countries in Asia. IVI Director –General, Dr. John Clemens, will deliver a keynote speech, entitled, “The IVI: Global Resource for New Vaccines for Developing Countries” at the workshop, which is sponsored by the British government. Dr. Clemens is a leading authority on vaccine evaluation and on vaccines for the developing world. A member of the Board of the GAVI Alliance, he has served as an advisor to the United Kingdom Medical Research Council (MRC) on research for pandemic influenza.
Sir John Skehel, formerly Director of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, is leading and coordinating the U.K-Korea International Workshop on Vaccines for Influenza with Professor Baik Lin Seong, an IVI collaborating scientist from the Department of Biotechnology, Yonsei University, representing the Korean side.
Sir John is one of the world’s leading virologists, who has made profound contributions to our understanding of the influenza virus. His most famous work has been on the virus haemagglutinin (HA), an antigenic glycoprotein that is responsible for binding the virus to the cell being infected. He will deliver a plenary speech entitled “Pandemic influenza – science to policy’: The Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences report.”
Scientists from Japan, China and Vietnam will also join the scientists from the UK and Korea for the following purposes:
1) To exchange information on current developments in influenza vaccine research, both at institutional and national levels
2) To promote networking between researchers in the field of influenza control
3) To develop proposals for collaborative projects on pandemic and inter-pandemic vaccines.
The workshop will serve as a forum for discussing global preparedness as well as developing effective means to control seasonal and pandemic influenza at the regional level, especially within Asian countries. On-going efforts and future plans for vaccine development will also be discussed. The topics will include, but not be limited to, development of high-yielding H5N1 avian vaccine strain, development of "needle free" vaccine formulations for mass immunization, identification of new protective antigens for recombinant vaccine, and application of reverse genetics for generation of seed strains for downstream production of pandemic vaccines.
If you have any further questions please contact Ms Hyeyoung Kim, Science Innovation Officer, British Embassy (tel: 02-3210-5594).
The workshop comes at a time the IVI is stepping up efforts to take on research on influenza in the coming months. The Institute will complete a BSL3+ laboratory at its headquarters later this year, and will launch work on vaccines against emerging respiratory viruses, especially avian influenza.
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), based in Seoul, Korea, is the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries. Established at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme, the IVI operates under a treaty signed by 39 countries and the World Health Organization, and conducts research in 22 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
1. Key Speakers
John D. Clemens, M.D., Director-General of the IVI, is a world-leading authority on vaccine evaluation and on vaccines for the developing world. A member of the Board of the GAVI Alliance, he has served as an advisor to the United Kingdom Medical Research Council on research for pandemic influenza. Before joining the IVI, he held senior positions at the United States National Institute of Health. He has been a long-term advisor to WHO and served as Director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Clinical Evaluation of Vaccines in Developing Countries. He has a continuing appointment as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Clemens has successfully undertaken numerous vaccine research projects in developing countries.
Sir John Skehel is one of the world’s leading virologists. He has made profound contributions to our understanding of the influenza virus, with his most famous work being on the virus haemagglutinin (HA). His observation that a low pH triggers a conformational change in HA, and that this leads to the fusion of the influenza virus envelope with the endosomal membrane of cells was seminal for the field of virus entry into cells and for membrane fusion in general. He was formerly Director of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. Amongst his many accolades, he was awarded the Wilhelm Feldberg Prize in 1986 and the Royal Society’s Royal Medal in July 2003. He was elected to the council of the Academy of Medical Sciences in November 2001, and is Honorary Professor at the UCL Department of Virology.
2. Program:U.K-Korea International Workshop on Influenza Vaccine Research