The year 2017 is important for PolyU as the University celebrates its 80th anniversary. To mark this milestone, PolyU has planned a year-long series of events starting from December 2016 to December 2017 to share the joy with and bring together our outstanding alumni as well as external academics, collaborators and industrial partners.

Vaccine Development during the Ebola Public Health Emergency:

Lessons Learnt and Perspectives for Enhanced Preparedness

Dr Marie-Paule Kieny

Assistant Director-General, Health Systems and Innovation, World Health Organization

Dr Marie-Paule Kieny has been serving as Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation at the World Health Organization since 2012. Dr Kieny also directed the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research in 2001. Key successes under her leadership roles at WHO include the development and licensing of new vaccines against bacterial meningitis; addressing the global supply of pandemic influenza vaccine, especially in developing countries, through technology transfer and manufacturing and vaccines against poverty-related diseases. During 2014-2015, she led WHO’s efforts in R&D for Ebola virus disease, in particular the design and implementation of the only Phase 3 trial which demonstrated vaccine efficacy. Such initiatives are continuing priorities of Dr Kieny, as well as R&D preparedness for diseases of epidemic potential.

Before joining WHO, Dr Kieny held top research positions in the public and private sectors in France, which included Assistant Scientific Director of Transgene SA from 1981 to 1988, and Director of Research and Head of the Hepatitis C Virus Molecular Virology Group at the Institute of Virology, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) from 1999 to 2000.

Dr Kieny received her PhD in microbiology (1980) and University Diploma in economics from the University of Montpellier, and Diplôme d’Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches from the University of Strasbourg in 1995. She has published over 250 articles and reviews mainly in the areas of infectious diseases, immunology, vaccinology, universal health coverage, and health systems strengthening.

Dr Kieny has been awarded the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur (Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France) in 2016; Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, au titre du Ministère de la Recherche (Knight of the National Order of Merit, under the Ministry of Research, France) in 2000; the Prix Génération 2000-Impact Médecin in 1994, and the Prix de l'Innovation Rhône-Poulenc in 1991.

Dr Marie-Paule Kieny

Abstract of the Lecture

Vaccine Development during the Ebola Public Health Emergency: Lessons Learnt and Perspectives for Enhanced Preparedness

When the Ebola outbreak in West Africa erupted in the spring of 2014, the global health community was ill prepared to cope. There were no vaccines, no treatments, few diagnostics, and insufficient medical teams and trained responders.

In spite of this lack of R&D preparedness, the Ebola experience demonstrates that it is possible to compress R&D timelines from a decade or longer to less than a single year. This is mostly to be credited to an unprecedented collaborative effort building on the availability of a small number of candidate diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines that could rapidly move into clinical phase evaluation. A series of international consultations and activities – including the organization of a successful Ebola vaccine efficacy trial in Guinea – were led by WHO as a contribution to the unprecedented global efforts to control the Ebola epidemic.

Since September 2015, WHO expert teams, an international scientific advisory board, and partners engaged through global forums are collaborating to articulate a novel R&D model for emerging pathogens likely to cause severe outbreaks in the near future and for which few or no medical countermeasures exist: the WHO R&D Blueprint. Already, several consultations have been held among national governments and public health agencies, researchers, social scientists, and industry. They have selected priority pathogens for which immediate action is warranted, evaluated several promising platform technologies, identified major bottlenecks to international collaboration, agreed upon basic data sharing principles, and explored innovative approaches to conducting clinical trials. The new CEPI coalition holds promise for the development of needed vaccines. New developments on the R&D Blueprint and related initiatives will be presented.

About the Lecture

Vaccine Development during the Ebola Public Health Emergency:
Lessons Learnt and Perspectives for Enhanced Preparedness

  • Date:
    15 February 2017 (Wednesday)
  • Time:
    2:30pm - 3:30pm
  • Venue:
    Silverbox Ballroom, Level 1, Hotel ICON, 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
    (CME/CPD points will be awarded*)
Poster of the Lecture

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