Salk's legacy, current and future challenges to vaccine development topic of briefing


WHO: Julius S. Youngner, Sc.D., Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; only remaining senior scientist from Salk's core research team

Paul A. Offit, M.D., chief, Section of Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; author, The Cutter Incident: How America's First Polio Vaccine Led to Today's Growing Crisis in Vaccines

Gary J. Nabel, M.D., Ph.D., director, Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; leads efforts aimed at developing an HIV vaccine

John B. Robbins, M.D., chief, Laboratory of Developmental and Molecular Immunity, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; has pioneered vaccines for diseases that are prevalent in infants and children

WHAT: Press briefing to reflect on the historical achievement of the Salk polio vaccine and its impact on today's vaccine industry and research agenda and discuss current and future challenges to developing vaccines for such viruses as HIV and avian flu.

WHEN: 12 p.m., Monday, April 11

WHERE: Room 701, University of Pittsburgh Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave.

Reporters may participate via telephone conference call by dialing 800-860-2442 and referencing "vaccine development briefing."

WHY: The development of the Salk polio vaccine at the University of Pittsburgh is considered one of medicine's greatest milestones. April 12 marks the 50th anniversary of the announcement that the vaccine was declared "safe, effective and potent," and ushered in a new era in vaccine development. Since that time, 12 vaccines have been developed that protect against disease. But scientific, cultural and socioeconomic challenges must be addressed in order to develop effective and safe vaccines for such viruses as HIV, avian flu and malaria, and for those unknown viruses that could easily sicken or kill entire populations. To commemorate the Salk polio vaccine anniversary, Pitt is holding a two-day symposium, "Remembering Polio: The History and Future of Vaccine Development." More information is available at

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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