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Michael Watson is a UK trained physician in Internal Medicine and infectious diseases and post-graduate training in Pharmaceutical Medicine. He has worked for the last 20 years in vaccines. His roles have included UK Medical Director of Aventis Pasteur MSD, Head of Clinical and Epidemiology for SPMSD in Lyon, France, Head of R&D for Acambis in Cambridge MA and Global Head of Vaccination Policy and Advocacy at Sanofi Pasteur, and Global Head of Policy for the SANOFI Group. In April he was appointed President of the mRNA vaccine company Valera, a Moderna Venture.
Giuseppe (Pino) Ciaramella is the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Valera LLC, a fully owned venture of Moderna Therapeutics that focuses on the discovery of vaccines and therapeutics for Infectious Diseases using Moderna’s mRNA technology. He joined Moderna in January 2014 as VP of Immunology and Biotherapeutics and was appointed CSO of the newly formed Valera company in October 2014. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from University College London and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) & is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
Existing Vaccine Paradigm Immunization against disease has been practiced for a thousand years, from variolation to vaccination. Today we have vaccines against more than 25 different diseases using at least nine different approaches. All of today’s approaches require long, complex, costly, and vaccine-specific discovery, vaccine development, process development, production scale up. They need dedicated cell-culture and/or fermentation based production of pathogens that are attenuated, or need to be attenuated, processed, purified and formulated and in most cases efficacy is demonstrated empirically and the exact mechanism of protection is only fully elucidated after the vaccine has been licensed and used.
mRNA vaccines offer a true paradigm shift in how we discover, develop, register and produce vaccines. As well as offering improvements on existing vaccines, and vaccines for unmet needs mRNA could also change the way we prepare for and react to epidemics such as Zika.
Professor Wang Linfa
Professor and Director
Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases
Ms Shirley William