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Research and Training Advisory Committee



Pier Luigi Lopalco

Pier Luigi Lopalco obtained his medical degree in 1991, was trained in Epidemiology and Public Health, and became Associate Professor of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bari, Italy in 2002. From 1992 to 2008, he gained experience as an Regional Epidemiologist and Consultant at the Regional Epidemiological Office in Italy, and became a member of the National Vaccination Board of the Italian Ministry of Health. He taught Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Foggia, Italy (2000-2001) and teaches Epidemiology at the University of Bari, Italy since 2002. Since 2005, he is the Head of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm, Sweden. His activities include being a link between the ECDC and international organizations such as WHO, US CDC, and the EMEA, in the area of vaccine preventable diseases, and leading the production of European guidelines on Influenza, Pneumococcal, BCG, HPV and Rotavirus vaccination. In addition, Prof. Lopalco is a member of the External Advisory Board of the EC-funded High Impact Project ADITEC.



Paul-Henri Lambert

Prof. Paul-Henri Lambert, MD started his career at the University of Liege-Belgium, joined the Frank Dixon at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California, and then moved to the University of Geneva Medical School where he became professor in the Department of Medicine (1974) and affiliated in the Department of Pathology (1984). From 1975 to 1987, Prof. Lambert led the Immunology Research and Training Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WHO-associated research laboratories at Universities of Geneva and Lausanne in Switzerland. During this period, he investigated immunological mechanisms involved in autoimmune and immune complex-mediated diseases and in the pathogenesis of malaria. In 1987, he was appointed as chief Microbiology and Immunology (WHO) and in 1994 chief WHO Global Programme for Vaccines and Immunization. Prof. Lambert is member of several international scientific boards and committees, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is directing the International Advanced Course of Vaccinology (ADVAC), member of the governance board of the TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI) and Training Work Package leader of the EC-funded High Impact Project ADITEC.



Han van den Bosch

Han van den Bosch is currently Professor of International Public Health and the Pharmaceutical Industry at the Athena Institute of the Free University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He received his Biology degree in Groningen and a PhD degree in Medical Microbiology in Amsterdam in 1981. Several postdoc positions were taken in medical research on molecular pathogenesis of infectious diseases and vaccinology. In 1985 he started working at Intervet International BV and developed vaccines against major animal diseases. In later years he assumed several international management positions in R&D, the last being R&D Director for Intervet UK. In 2004 he became co-founder and R&D Director of Nobilon, being responsible for the development of human vaccines. Targets included respiratory infections, vector-borne infections, enteric infections and STD infections. After the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough in November 2009, he was appointed Vaccines Site Head for Merck Research Laboratories in The Netherlands and became member of Merck’s global Vaccines Coordination Committee, until Nobilon’s closure by Merck in 2010. Prof. van den Bosch is a global consultant on vaccine innovation for various companies, organisations and ministries.



Mariagrazia Pizza

Dr. Mariagrazia Pizza obtained her PhD degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology at the University of Naples, Italy in 1985. She performed her postdoctoral studies at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Institute of Biochemical Sciences in Naples. In 1986, Dr. Pizza joined the Immunobiological Research Institute Siena (IRIS ) in Italy, was soon promoted to senior scientist, and since 1999 leaded the project aimed at the identification of a Meningococcus B vaccine. In 2005, Dr. Pizza became Head of the Molecular Immunology Unit at Chiron Vaccines, which one year later became part of the Novartis group with the name of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics (NV&D), and became Senior Project Leader Bacteriology in 2008. Dr. Pizza has been an EMBO member since 2000 and received numerous honours and awards, such as the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Award (1992) for the acellular pertussis vaccine as the best product of the year, and the Novartis Vision Innovation Value Achievement (VIVA) Award (2008), conferred to recognize exceptional contributions made by Novartis scientists working in research and development worldwide.



Luc Hessel

Dr. Luc Hessel graduated in Medicine at the University of Bordeaux in 1973, followed by clinical and academic activities in Internal Medicine, Gerontology/Geriatrics and Public Health at the University Hospital in Limoges in France. In 1986, Dr. Hessel joined Sanofi Pasteur where he set up the Medical Department of Sanofi Pasteur MSD, the European Joint Venture between Sanofi-Pasteur and Merck & Co, leading companies in vaccines and biotechnology products. From 2001 to 2007, he was in charge of medical and public affairs and until 2010, he was Executive Director Policy Affairs Europe at Sanofi Pasteur MSD. Dr. Hessel has been an active member of several international scientific committees and advisory boards of organizations such as the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), the European Vaccine Manufacturers (EVM), and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA). Currently, he is the chairman of the clinical development team of the TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI). As an independent expert, Dr. Hessel provides advice on the development of new vaccines and the implementation of vaccination programmes to vaccine companies, national and international public health organisations.

Funded by the EU under the FP7 Marie Curie Action - Grant number: 316655