14 Aug 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) recently named some of the world's most eminent malaria scientists and vaccinologists to its vaccine science portfolio advisory council (VSPAC), which is a group of external experts tasked with providing strategic input and advice on the MVI's scientific portfolio and overall R&D program.
The new members of the VSPAC, include Dr Norman Baylor (president and CEO of Biologics Consulting Group and former director of the office of vaccines research and review in the FDA's center for biologics evaluation and research); Dr Kamini Mendis (an independent consultant on malaria and tropical medicine, formerly the coordinator of malaria treatment and malaria elimination at the WHO); Dr Rafick-Pierre Sékaly (co-director and CSO of VGTI Florida); and Dr Fidel Zavala (professor at the department of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Bloomberg school of public health, Johns Hopkins University).
Dr David C Kaslow, director, MVI, and former chair, VSPAC, said that, "We're fortunate to have some of the world's most distinguished scientists advising us on MVI's malaria vaccine R&D strategy. The expertise of the VSPAC members is a critical resource to realizing our near-term strategic goal of supporting development of a first-generation malaria vaccine that could protect millions against disease and death, as well as our long-term goals of developing more highly effective second-generation vaccines, including vaccines to support future elimination and eradication efforts."
The other current members of the VSPAC, include Professor Fred Binka (project manager for the INDEPTH network malaria clinical trials alliance (MCTA) in Accra, Ghana); Dr John Boslego (director, PATH's other vaccine development program); Dr Brendan Crabb (malaria researcher and CEO of Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health); Dr Tom Monath (partner at the Pandemic and Biodefense Fund at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers); Dr Rino Rappuoli (global head of vaccines research for Novartis Vaccines); Dr David Salisbury (director of immunization at the UK Department of Health); and Dr Kathryn C Zoon (director of the division of intramural research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health).