“The history, now and future of vaccines development”

Start Date & Time: 
Tuesday, 18 July, 2017 - 09:30
End Date & Time: 
Tuesday, 18 July, 2017 - 10:30

Meeting Room 7C (Level 7)
Duke-NUS Medical School
8 College Road
Singapore 169857


Speaker Details: 

Rino Rappuoli, PhD
Chief Scientist and Head External R&D
GSK Vaccines, Siena, Italy


Vaccination has been the most effective medical intervention in the history of mankind. Infectious diseases that used to kill or cause disability in millions of people annually such as diphtheria, tetanus, smallpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella were conquered during the last century with the first wave of vaccines. The second wave of vaccination started during the 1980s and consisted of vaccines that were made possible by the new technologies such as recombinant DNA, conjugation, genomics, that allowed the development of vaccines against Hepatitis B, papillomavirus, Haemophilus influenzae, pneumococcus, and meningococcus. Thanks to the advances in understanding of the structure of the antigens and their epitopes and how they interact with the human immune system we are now entering the third wave of vaccine development, characterized by optimal design antigens, adjuvants and delivery systems. This new phase is expected to tackle diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV that have, so far, been refractory to vaccine development, to boost the field of therapeutic vaccination and to optimize the response against infectious disease that are not yet controlled by vaccination such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and antibiotic resistant bacteria.


Rino Rappuoli is Chief Scientist and Head External R&D at GSK Vaccines, based in Siena, Italy and Professor Imperial College. Prior positions were: head of Vaccine R&D at Novartis, CSO of Chiron Corporation, and head for R&D at Sclavo. He earned his PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Siena, Italy, and was visiting scientist at Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School. He is member of US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the Royal Society of London. Awards received are: the Gold Medal by the Italian President, the Albert B Sabin Gold Medal, the Canada Gairdner International Award and the European Inventor Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was nominated to be third most influential person worldwide in the field of vaccines (Terrapin). He has published more than 650 works in peer-reviewed journals.

He has introduced many novel scientific concepts: genetic detoxification; cellular microbiology; reverse vaccinology; pangenome. He has also developed several licensed vaccines: acellular pertussis containing a non toxic mutant of pertussis toxin; the first conjugate vaccine against meningococcus C; MF59, the first vaccine adjuvant after aluminium salts; meningococcus B; and CRM 197 that is used as carrier in many conjugate vaccines.


Professor Ooi Eng Eong
Deputy Director
Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases

Contact Person: 

Sandie Lim