2012 Symposium

The Changing Landscape of Vaccine Development:
Vaccines for Chronic Diseases

The Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, the The Cancer Center, the Center for Addiction Research and the Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, in conjunction with the James W. McLaughlin Endowment, the journal Vaccine, the World Health Organization Initiative for Vaccine Research, and the British Consulate-General Houston, were proud to host the fourth in a series of symposia centered around the theme of the "Changing Landscape of Vaccine Development." This fourth symposium, titled "Vaccines for Chronic Diseases," focused on the progression of vaccine development from the bench to the bedside to the global community. The symposium took place February 7-9, 2012, at Moody Gardens Resort in Galveston.

The symposium brought together experts in the areas of addiction, cancer, neurodegenerative disease and chronic infectious disease vaccine development. Approximately 175 attendees heard thirty-eight presenters speak about their cutting-edge vaccine research and clinical trials results.

The symposium began early Tuesday morning with a welcome from Dr. Donald S. Prough and opening remarks from Drs. Alan Barrett, Nigel Bourne and Ashok Chopra. Dr. Joachim Hombach from the World Health Organization (WHO) gave the John LaMontagne Keynote Lecture, "Moving towards New Vaccination Targets - Status and Outlook." The Vaccines for Neurodegenerative Diseases' George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Lecture on Neurotherapeutics Keynote was given by Dr. Jeff Cummings of the Cleveland Neurological Institute, who discussed the challenges of designing drug therapies to target neurodegenerative diseases. The Cullen Trust for Health Care Lecture on Vaccination for Tau Pathology Keynote Lecturer was Dr. Peter Davies from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. His talk was titled "Passive Vaccination as a Treatment for Tau Pathology."

On Tuesday afternoon, SCVD's own Dr. Rakez Kayed spoke about his latest research describing effective passive immunization techniques targeting toxic oligomer proteins in an accepted experimental model of Alzheimer's Disease. Wednesday began with the Center for Addiction Research's Arran Thomas Amadeo Streppa Memorial Keynote Lecture, given by Dr. Kim Janda of Scripps Research Institute, whose talk was titled "Creating Successful Vaccines Against Drugs of Abuse: Case Studies That Begin to Define the Rules." After lunch, UTMB Cancer Center's Keynote Lecture, "Immunotherapy of Established Disease Caused by High Risk Human Papilloma Virus," was given by Dr. Cornelis Melief of Leiden University Medical Center. The day ended on the topic of vaccines for neglected and tropical diseases.

Thursday morning began with the journal Vaccine Lecture, featuring Dr. Martin Bachmann of Cytos Biotechnology, who discussed his latest clinical trial results in his talk, "Vaccination Against Non-communicable Disease: Progress and Remaining Challenges." Later that morning, Dr. Steven Reed, an expert on adjuvant design from the Infectious Diseases Research Institute, gave the James W. McLaughlin Endowment Lecture, "Rational Designs of New Adjuvants." The day concluded with SCVD's Dr. Peter Melby, who discussed the challenges of vaccine development against Leishmania infection, and with the announcement of the poster presentation travel award winners.

SCVD received over twenty abstracts for poster presentations from graduate students, postdoctoral scientists and research technicians. These trainees competed for a chance to win a travel award to present their research at the 6th Annual Vaccine and International Society for Vaccines Congress, to be held in Shanghai, China, October 14-16, 2012. These awards were sponsored by the journal Vaccine and SCVD, and were awarded to:

Matthew Huante, a graduate student in Dr. Janice Endsley's lab, for his work, "HIV-1 Alters the Cytokine Microenvironment and Effector Function of CD8+T cells upon Antigen-specific Activation with Mycobacteria."

Ronald Veselenak, a graduate student in Dr. Nigel Bourne's lab, for his work, "An Adjuvanted HSV-2 Plasmid DNA Vaccine Is Effective for Prophylactic and Therapeutic Use in the Guinea Pig Model of Genital Herpes."