on December 17, 2006
A simple phrase in a press release this summer of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation announcing major funding of HIV research in Switzerland noted: “The Government of Switzerland has pledged to support the establishment of a vaccine institute in Lausanne that will contribute to the implementation of the Enterprise scienti fic plan.” That ambitious initiative became a reality on December 20th with the official founding of the Swiss Institute for Research in Vaccines, ISVR.
Director Antonio Lanzavecchia The IRB with its powerful immunology and vaccine program is proud to be one of the four founding members of this important and unique institute.The other members are the CHUV, the Ludwig Institute and the EPFL, all based in Luasanne. The ISVR will concentrate first on basic, clinical and translational research in the domain of the three principal infectious diseases;HIV/AIDS,Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria. Attention will also be paid to the threat of pandemic flu and the search for effective vaccines against Hepatitis C, Dengue Fever and other infectious diseases.
Protective vaccines against a variety of infectious agents represent one of the most significant successes of biomedical research in the 20th century. In spite of this success the most devastating infectious diseases currently facing the world population, HIV/AIDS,TB and Malaria, are lacking an effective vaccine. The ISVR is dedicated to filling this gap. Recent studies on vaccines against tumors, have fueled optimism in this convergent field of infectious diseases and cancer. More than 20% of cancers are related to infection such as Hepatitis B and C and Human Papiloma. Preventative vaccines have been shown to reduce substantially the incidence of cancer. For this reason the development of a multidisciplinary vaccine program against both infectious agents and cancer will encourage the most effective use of resources.The ISVR will favor scientific and technological exchange between researchers in the domains of oncology and immunology leading to effective pre-clinical and clinical development. The ISVR shares its ambitious goal with many international initiatives of academic, political, social, and industrial nature who seek to reduce the devastating effects of infectious diseases and cancer. The principal objectives of the ISVR are: – To develop a platform of immunology laboratories open to standardization and for the development of new and innovative technologies to evaluate the immune response induced by vaccines in with the aim of rapidly transferring the most effective candidates to pre-clinical and clinical experiments.
- To develop a platform of microbiological laboratories to identify the criteria (genetic stability, tropism, distribution, infectiousness) essential for the selection of vaccine candidates, based on the most promising microbial vectors in pre-clinical development.
- To develop a platform of vaccine research with the principal objective of discovering and developing early pre-clnical (Phase i/IIa) to ensure the development of vaccines in a coordinated basic, translational and clinical approach.
- To create 2 to 4 new research groups through the rectruitment of promising young scientists to senior track assistant professorships. These recruits will be able to pursue their academic careers at the EPFL or the CHUV/ UNIL.
- To promote the coordination and collaboration of various activities in basic, translational and clinical research in Switzerland dedicated to the goals of the ISVR.
- To favor the exchange of information amongst specialists in the strategic fields of vectors, innate and acquired immunity, adjuvants, and delivery mechanisms as well as clinical fields of epidemiology, global health and clinical trials.
- To train the next generation of vaccinology scientists.
- To maintain relationships with the most important public and private organizations dedicated to the development of vaccines.
- To encourage and facilitate industrial collaborations.
- To protect the intellectual property developed by the ISVR.