Scientists launch vaccine research foundation

Gary Finnegan

Gary Finnegan

June 24th, 2011

Gary Finnegan

‘Fourteen leading scientists and advocacy experts in vaccines and infectious disease have come together to launch a new international foundation. ’

VaccinefoundationThe Foundation for Vaccines Research will be headquartered in Washington DC but also plans to open an office in Brussels.

The Foundation will campaign for increased funding for vaccine research against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases, including neglected tropical diseases, as well as universal vaccines for influenza and a vaccine to avert pandemic influenza.

Televised fundraising events and benefit concerts will be a feature of the new organisation’s work, with 100% of publicly donated funds going directly to teams of scientists and their institutions.

“The Foundation will also engage with the anti-vaccine movement to persuade them of the benefits of vaccines,” according to a statement published last week.

Major US researchers, including , will lead the organisation, along with a number of European scientists and advocates:

  • Patrice Debre, MD, PhD, Professor of Immunology, University of Pierre and Marie Curie, Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, Paris, France
  • Jose M. Gatell MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Senior Consultant & Head, Infectious Diseases & AIDS Units, Clinical Institute of Medicine & Dermatology, Founder and Co-Director of the Catalan HIV Vaccine Project (HIVACAT), Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Guillaume Stewart-Jones, PhD, Principal Investigator, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
  • Professor Simon Wain-Hobson, PhD, Chief, Molecular Retrovirology, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • Robin A. Weiss, PhD, Professor of Viral Oncology, Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, UK

(Click here for a full list)

“It’s an exciting time to advance vaccine research and development to prevent humankind’s most wretched diseases,” said Founding Board Director Prof. Robin Weiss of University College London.

“However, scientists must have the resources. We need leadership and further political commitment worldwide. I am pleased that finally someone will be advocating and campaigning for increased funding for vaccine research,” he added.