Dr. 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.