The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) awarded Drs. Rino Rappuoli and Mariagrazia Pizza for their research on reverse vaccinology and the development of a Type B meningococcus vaccine. The IVI-SK bioscience Park MahnHoon Award, created by the International Vaccine Institute and the South Korean company Sk Bioscience and now in its second edition, annually honors up to two individuals and/or groups that have made extraordinary contributions to the discovery, development and delivery of vaccines and the advancement of global health.
This year’s award ceremony is scheduled to take place at IVI on April 25, the second anniversary of Dr. Park MahnHood’s death. Dr. Park is the former vice-president of Sk Bioscience at the International Vaccine Institute, international non-profit organization founded in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health.
“Drs. Rappuoli and Pizza jointly pioneered a new more scientific approach to vaccine development – reverse vaccinology” reads the motivation for the award, “Using this approach, they developed a Type B meningococcus vaccine, which has been shown to be highly efficacious and licensed in over 40 countries worldwide to protect infants aged under 1 year, children and adolescents against this devastating infection of the nervous system. This vaccine is now licensed (Bexero) and has shown to be highly efficacious in preventing the disease. Dr. Rappuoli is now the Scientific Director of Biotecnopolo di Siena Foundation in Italy and was formerly the Chief Scientist at GSK Vaccines. His extensive contributions to vaccinology also include a molecule, CRM197, that today is the most widely used carrier for vaccines against H. influenzae, N. meningitidis and pneumococcus, and is used to vaccinate most children worldwide”.
Drs. Andrew Pollard and Sarah Gilbert were also awarded for having guided the clinical development of the Oxford/AZ COVID-19 vaccine, one of the first and most widely administered vaccines in the fight against the pandemic.
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