Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker


Rino Rappuoli is Chief Scientist and Head of External R&D at GSK Vaccines, based in Siena, Italy and Professor at Imperial College, London, UK. Prior positions include Head of Vaccine R&D at Novartis, CSO of Chiron Corporation, and Head of R&D at Sclavo. He obtained his PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Siena, Italy, and has been a visiting scientist at both Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School in the United States.

He is elected member of US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and the Royal Society of London. Dr. Rappuoli has received numerous awards including the Gold Medal of the Italian President, the Albert B Sabin Gold Medal, the Canada Gairdner International Award and the European Inventor Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was recently nominated as the third most influential person worldwide in the field of vaccines (Terrapin).   He has published more than 650 works in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Rappuoli has developed and implemented a number of novel scientific concepts critical for vaccine development in the areas of genetic detoxification, cellular microbiology, reverse vaccinology and the pangenome. With others, he has developed several licensed vaccines and related adjuvants/carriers, including the acellular pertussis vaccine, which contains a non-toxic mutant of pertussis toxin; the first conjugate vaccine against meningococcus C; MF59, the first vaccine adjuvant after aluminium salts, which stimulates production of CD4 memory cells following meningococcal B vaccination; and CRM 197, a non-toxic mutant of diphtheria toxin that is used as carrier protein for polysaccharides and haptens to make them immunogenic in conjugate vaccines for several diseases, including meningococcal and pneumococcal infections.  Recently he used a genome-based approach, named reverse vaccinology, to discover antigens for a new vaccine against meningococcus B.


Closing Keynote Speaker


Charlotte Watts is Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of International Development (DFID). In this role she is Director of the Research and Evidence Division and Head of the Science and Engineering Profession for DFID.

Professor Watts is seconded to DFID from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she is Professor of Social and Mathematical Epidemiology. Originally trained as a mathematician, with a Ph.D. in theoretical mathematics from the University of Warwick, she became interested in global health whilst conducting post-doctoral research on the epidemiology of HIV at the University of Oxford. Moving to LSHTM in 1994, after gaining further training in economics and social science, and fieldwork experience in Zimbabwe and other developing countries, she founded the Social and Mathematical Epidemiology Group. The multidisciplinary group uses mathematical, epidemiological and economic research to assess the impact of current and new HIV prevention technologies, and evaluate interventions that tackle the determinants of HIV risk.

Professor Watts is a global expert in violence prevention. She was Senior Technical Advisor to the WHO 10 country population surveys on women’s health and domestic violence; led the systematic review of the global prevalence and health burden of interpersonal violence, and has been senior researcher on 5 cluster randomised controlled intervention trials in sub-Saharan Africa – showing that violence is preventable.

Professor Watts is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and Foreign Associate Member of the US National Academy of Medicine. She has 200 academic publications, and has served on numerous UN technical and Government advisory boards.


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