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Annual Conference on Vaccine Research to Highlight Not Only Health Benefits But Also Economic Gains
Date:5/5/2008

First Robert Austrian Memorial Lecture to Dr. Orin S. Levine

Orin S. Levine, PhD, associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will give the conference's first Robert Austrian Memorial Lecture. Dr. Levine is an expert on respiratory infections in developing countries, including Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) and Streptococcus pneumoniae. He currently heads a $30 million effort by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization aimed at getting pneumococcal vaccine to the world's poorest countries.

The lecture is named for Dr. Robert Austrian, former chair of medical research at the University of Pennsylvania, who developed the first multivalent vaccine against pneumococcus bacteria. Dr. Austrian died in March 2007 at the age of 90.

The Merieux Award is underwritten by an unrestricted educational grant from sanofi pasteur; the Austrian Lecture and the Hilleman Award are supported by unrestricted educational grants from Merck & Co, Inc.

Dr. Barton F. Haynes, director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, will give the Mary Lou Clements-Mann Memorial Lecture on Vaccine Sciences. On Wednesday, the conference will announce this year's winner of the Maurice R. Hilleman Early Stage Career Investigator Award, which recognizes promising scientists who are just beginning their careers in vaccinology.

Anti-Smoking Vaccine Keeps Nicotine from Brain

Among the novel vaccines to be discussed at the conference is one aimed at curbing addiction to nicotine. Scientists from Nabi Biopharmaceuticals of Rockville, MD will report data showing that their experimental vaccine, NicVAX, induces antibodies that prevent nicotine from reaching the brain.

In human trials, 24 percent of 61 people who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day quit smoking for up to one year following vaccination. Others who continued smoking after vaccination smoked significantly less than they had before. The company is now analyzing res
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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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