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  National
UK-Korea Int'l Workshop on Vaccines for Flu
Warwick Morris, UK ambassador to Seoul

The British Royal Society and the International Vaccine Institute based in Korea are holding an International Workship on Vaccines for Influenza from 26-27 March at the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) of the Seoul National University.

The British Government is sponsoring the event. Sir John Skehel FRS (formerly Director of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research) is leading and co-ordinating the workshop with Professor Baik Lin Seong (Department of Biotechnology, Yonsei Univerisity) leading on the Korean side. Scientists from Japan, China and Vietnam will also join the teams from the UK and Korea. Dr John Clemens, Director General of International Vaccine Institute will be the keynote speaker at the workshop.

The event aims to exchange information on current developments in influenza vaccine research, both at institutional and national level; to promote networking between researchers in the field; and to develop proposals for collaborative projects on pandemic and inter-pandemic vaccines.

The workshop will serve as a forum for discussing global preparations as well as developing effective logistics to control the seasonal and pandemic influenza at regional level, especially within Southeast Asian countries. On-going efforts and future plans for vaccine development will be discussed.

The range of topics will include development of high-yielding H5N1 avian vaccine strain, development of "needle free" vaccine for mass immunization, identification of new protective antigens for recombinant vaccine, and application of reverse genetics for pandemic vaccine.

For further information on the event, please contact Ms Hyeyoung Kim, Science Innovation Officer, British Embassy (tel: 02-3210-5594).

For media inquiry, please contact Jenny Hong, Media Officer (tel. 02-3210-5562)

Please visit the Embassy website (www.uk.or.kr) for more details.

Note

About IVI: The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), based in Seoul, Korea, is the world's only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world's poorest people, especially children in developing countries. Established at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme, the IVI operates under a treaty signed by 39 countries and the World Health Organization, and conducts research in 22 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Key Speakers

John D. Clemens, M.D., Director-General of the IVI, is a world-leading authority on vaccine evaluation and on vaccines for the developing world. A member of the Board of the GAVI Alliance, he has served as an advisor to the United Kingdom Medical Research Council on research for pandemic influenza. Before joining the IVI, he held senior positions at the United States National Institute of Health. He has been a long-term advisor to WHO and served as Director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Clinical Evaluation of Vaccines in Developing Countries. He has a continuing appointment as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Clemens has successfully undertaken numerous vaccine research projects in developing countries.

Sir John Skehel is one of the world's leading virologists. He has made profound contributions to our understanding of the influenza virus, with his most famous work being on the virus haemagglutinin (HA). His observation that a low pH triggers a conformational change in HA, and that this leads to the fusion of the influenza virus envelope with the endosomal membrane of cells was seminal for the field of virus entry into cells and for membrane fusion in general. He was formerly Director of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. Amongst his many accolades, he was awarded the Wilhelm Feldberg Prize in 1986 and the Royal Society's Royal Medal in July 2003. He was elected to the council of the Academy of Medical Sciences in November 2001, and is Honorary Professor at the UCL Department of Virology.




 

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