Fred Cassels leads the enteric and diarrheal diseases (EDD) group, which focuses on rotavirus, polio, Shigella, and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) vaccines, all within the Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access at PATH. The projects within the EDD portfolio encompass vaccine discovery, in vitro and in vivo proof of concept, process development, cGMP manufacture, Phase 1-4 clinical trials, licensure in-country and through the WHO, and introduction of vaccines – all for the benefit low- and middle-income countries. Previously, Fred was Chief of the Enteric and Hepatic Diseases Branch, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID), NIAID. The work there encompassed the management of grants, preclinical product development and vaccine manufacturing contracts, as well as domestic and international clinical trials. While at DMID, Fred served as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Influenza Vaccines program officer. Prior to DMID, Dr. Cassels worked in the Department of Enteric Infections, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, developing ETEC vaccine candidates and delivery technologies.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) Manufacturing & Supply Chain Division supports vaccine development projects, implements new innovative technologies and establishes sustainable development, manufacturing facility, and supply chain networks to rapidly deliver equitable vaccine access where and when needed. Ingrid has a background as chemical engineer. She has more than 25 years’ experience of working with vaccines through her employment at Statens Serum Institut, Denmark. For the last 16 years, Ingrid led the Vaccine Development department at Statens Serum Institut, and she has developed more than 10 different vaccines from research to clinical trials, mostly within Tuberculosis, Polio, and Chlamydia.
Ebrahim Mohamed is a Synthetic Organic Chemist by training, with over 18 years’ experience in pharmaceuticals and expertise covering business development, product development, technology transfers, process optimizations and cGMP. After completing his PhD from the University of Cape Town in 2009, he joined the Science and Innovation (S&I) Department at the Biovac Institute (BIOVAC) where he worked on the development of glycoconjugate vaccines against diseases such as Haemophilus influenzae B, Streptococcus Pneumoniae and Group B Strep. As Group Leader he currently manages all the CMC-related activities with the S&I department. He has accumulated experience in both inward- and outward-bound technology transfers of clinical vaccine candidates and commercial products. In 2015, Ebrahim joined the secretariat team of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative (AVMI), where he has been pivotal in the coordination of the AVMI Vaccine Manufacturing and Procurement in Africa (VMPA) study. Subsequently elected as a member of the AVMI board, Ebrahim represented the Southern African Region between 2016 and 2021. In 2021 he was elected as part of the Scientific Working group addressing Technology and IP in the ‘Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing’ (PAVM) study coordinated by the African CDC. He also serves on Emerging Biopharmaceuticals Manufacturers Network (EBPMN) scientific committee.
Pierre has over 35 years of experience in the global life science industry, especially with specialty care, vaccines and immunotherapy, at the helm of international operations, in C-level positions at global level in multinational corporations and as CEO of start-up companies. He is a lecturer in several MBA programs and in life science conferences, and at the Mass Challenge incubator in Switzerland where he is also a mentor for start-up life sciences companies. He holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy, a master’s degree in Business Law and a MBA, and he is an alumnus of INSEAD and IMD.
Norbert Pardi holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and genetics and has been working at the University of Pennsylvania since 2011. His research interest is the development of mRNA-based therapeutics, with particular focus on new-generation infectious disease vaccines. He has explored the development of a novel vaccine platform using nucleoside-modified mRNA in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) and used it to generate highly effective vaccines targeting various pathogens (influenza virus, coronaviruses, malaria and others). Norbert is a pioneer of the nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine technology and has published several milestone papers in the field.
Mariagrazia Pizza received her degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies at the University of Naples, Italy. Following a period at the EMBO laboratories in Heidelberg, Germany, Mariagrazia moved to Siena, Italy where she has been ever since, leading many bacterial projects. She has contributed to the discovery of a pertussis vaccine based on a genetically detoxified toxin that can protect children from the disease and to the discovery of new vaccine antigens by genome mining (reverse vaccinology), which are the basis of a new Meningitis B vaccine now licensed in more than 40 countries worldwide. She has received many scientific awards and is an elected member of EMBO and the European Academy of Microbiology and Academia Europaea, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and Vice President of International Unit of Microbiology Societies. Mariagrazia is Honorary Visiting Professor at Imperial College (UK). She has over 200 publications and is co-inventor of over 70 patents.
Laura Solforosi has extensive experience in academic and industry research. Her background is in microbiology, molecular biology, and immunology, including antibody generation and vaccine development. She has led and contributed to projects for the isolation and characterization of pathogen-specific antibodies, characterization of B cell response following vaccination, and development of infectious disease vaccines. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Padova, Italy, and performed her postdoctoral work in Dr. Burton’s laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), in La Jolla California, recognized as the leading laboratory for anti-HIV antibody generation and HIV vaccine development. Dr. Solforosi continued her work at TSRI as an Assistant Professor and also worked as senior scientist at the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.
Yongjun Sui received her Ph.D. in pathology from Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences in 1998 and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Kansas Medical Center (2002-2005) and University of Pittsburgh (2005-2008). She joined the Vaccine Branch of the NCI as a staff scientist in 2008. Her research interests focus on the development of mucosal HIV and SARS-CoV-2 vaccines using non-human primate and rodent models. She is interested in identifying innate and adaptive immune correlates of protection against HIV and SARS-Cov-2 infections, as well as exploring trained innate immunity mediated by myeloid cells.