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Keystone Symposia launches 2013-14 meeting series with first conference in Rio de Janeiro

Keystone Symposia is today convening the first conference of its 2013-2014 meeting season and its first in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on "Advancing Vaccines in the Genomics Era" at the Windsor Barra Hotel immediately following the conclusion of the Grand Challenges in Global Health meeting for that program's grantees. The four-day conference is part of the Keystone Symposia Global Health Series, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has funded travel awards for 27 investigators from developing countries to attend. It is also sponsored by FAPERJ the Rio de Janeiro State Agency for Research Development.

Scientific organizers of the meeting are Bali Pulendran of Emory University, Chris Wilson of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Rino Rappuoli of Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics.The focus is on the design and development of vaccines leveraging advances in systems and structural biology.

One of the key presentations at the meeting will be by Peter Kwong of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the US National Institutes of Health on Sunday morning, November 3. His paper, published in Science on November 1, demonstrates the efficacy of a new fusion glycoprotein vaccine for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), which was developed at NIAID using structure-based design. RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for children under five years of age, plus responsible for 6.75% of deaths in children one month to one year of age and in the elderly at levels comparable to influenza virus. The vaccine is the first time the "Antibody-to-Vaccine" paradigm driving the HIV and universal flu efforts has been shown to work. More details are available in NIAID's press release at

"The publication of the work on RSV as our meeting convenes in Rio is an additional demonstration of how new, revolutionary technologies are making it possible to develop novel vaccines, and how timely and important is this Keystone Symposia meeting," commented Rino Rappuoli.


Contact: Yvonne Psaila
Keystone Symposia on Molecular & Cellular Biology

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