The Osler Lecture – “Vaccines and monoclonals to regain our freedom.”
Dr Rino Rappuoli
Chief Scientist and Head External R&D, GSK Vaccines
Honorary Professor of Vaccinology, Imperial College, London
Rino Rappuoli is Chief Scientist and Head External R&D at GSK Vaccines, based in Siena, Italy and Honorary Professor of Vaccinology at Imperial College, London and Extraordinary Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Siena. Prior positions were: head of Vaccine R&D at Novartis, CSO of Chiron Corporation, head for R&D at Sclavo.
He earned his PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Siena, Italy, and was visiting scientist at Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School.
He is elected member of US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and the Royal Society of London. Awards received: Gold Medal by the Italian President, Albert B Sabin Gold Medal, Canada Gairdner International Award, European Inventor Award for Lifetime Achievement, Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize and the Robert Koch Award. He was nominated third most influential person worldwide in the field of vaccines (Terrapin). He has published more than 735 works in peer-reviewed journals.
He introduced novel scientific concepts: genetic detoxification; cellular microbiology; reverse vaccinology; pangenome. Developed licensed vaccines: acellular pertussis containing a non-toxic mutant of pertussis toxin; first conjugate vaccine against meningococcus C; MF59-adjuvanted seasonal and pandemic influenza MF59 was the first vaccine adjuvant after aluminium salts; meningococcus B; CRM 197 used as carrier in many conjugate vaccines.
Founder of the GSK Vaccines Institute for Global Health (GVGH). Dr. Rappuoli is among the world scientific leaders dedicated to the sustainability of global health.
Diagnosis by DNA
The George Griffin Lecture – “Circulating DNA in health and disease”
Professor Dennis Lo
Director, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Professor Dennis Lo is the Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine, Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, and Chairman of the Department of Chemical Pathology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).
Professor Lo received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge, UK, and his Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Oxford, UK. He returned to Hong Kong in 1997.
His research interests focus on the biology and diagnostic applications of cell-free nucleic acids in plasma. In particular, he discovered the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma in 1997 and has since then been pioneering non-invasive prenatal testing using this technology. This technology has been widely adopted in over 90 countries. Professor Lo has also seen the similarities between circulating DNA analysis for prenatal testing and cancer detection and has pushed forward the liquid biopsies of cancer. He has made particular contribution in many innovations using circulating nucleic acids for cancer detection, including the screening of early stage nasopharyngeal cancer.
In recognition of his research, Professor Lo has been elected as Fellow of the Royal Society, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and Founding Member of the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences. Professor Lo has won numerous awards, including the 2016 Future Science Prize in Life Science and the 2014 King Faisal International Prize in Medicine.
Big Data in Clinical Research
“Large-scale clinical research and the digital revolution”
Professor Martin Landray
Deputy Director of Big Data Institute, Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery, University of Oxford
Martin Landray is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology within the Nuffield Department of Population Health and Deputy Director of Oxford’s Big Data Institute within the Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery at University of Oxford. He is a Research Director for Health Data Research UK, leading the national programme on digitally-enabled clinical trials.
His research seeks to further understanding of the determinants of common life-threatening and disabling diseases through the design, conduct and analysis of efficient, large-scale epidemiological studies (including clinical trials) and the widespread dissemination of both the results and the scientific methods used to generate them. His previous and on-going international trials have enrolled over 65,000 individuals with cardiovascular or kidney disease from 18 countries across 4 continents, and the results of completed studies have changed regulatory drug approvals, influenced clinical guidelines and changed prescribing practice to the benefit of patients. He also oversees the development of systems for recruitment, data collection, analysis and data sharing for UK Biobank, a prospective cohort study of 500,000 middle-aged men and women. His work on Big Data focuses on the large-scale analysis and interpretation of clinical phenotype through analysis of routine healthcare data, participant-oriented devices (e.g. smartphones, sensors) and imaging.
In addition to leading his own research, he is heavily involved in efforts to streamline clinical research, working with national and international organizations (including FDA, EMA, MHRA, MRC) to enable high quality research that can efficiently provide robust information for healthcare decision-making. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the FDA Clinical Trial Transformation Initiative, leading projects on Monitoring, Quality by Design, and Mobile Clinical Trials. He has recently been appointed to lead the Joint Initiative on Good Practice in Clinical Research established by the Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and African Academy for Sciences.
New Targets in Cellular Metabolism
“Understanding cellular oxygen sensing mechanisms: implications for medicine”
Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe Nobel Prize for Medicine 2019 Director, Target Discovery Institute, University of Oxford and Director of Clinical Research, The Francis Crick Institute, London
Peter Ratcliffe studied medicine at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. After positions at the London Postgraduate Hospitals he moved to Oxford to train as a nephrologist. Following specialist clinical training he became interested in the regulation of the haematopoietic growth factor erythropoietin, which is produced by the kidneys in response to reduced blood oxygen availability.
This work led to the unexpected discovery that the oxygen sensing process underlying the regulation of erythropoietin production operates widely across human and animal cells to direct a broad range of homeostatic responses to hypoxia. The laboratory went on to elucidate the mechanism of ‘oxygen sensing’ by post-translational hydroxylation of specific amino acid residues within the key transcription factor, HIF (Hypoxia Inducible Factor) and showed that this process is catalysed by a series of ‘oxygen-sensing’ 2-oxoglutarate dependent dioxygenases.
Dr Ratcliffe has received numerous awards for this work including the Canada Gairdner International Award and the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Biomedical Science. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2002 and Knighted for services to medicine in 2014. He served as Nuffield Professor and Head of Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford from 2004-2016. In May 2016 he was appointed Director of Clinical Research at the Francis Crick Institute, London, retaining a position at Oxford as Director of the Target Discovery Institute and Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
Infectious Diseases – Into the Future
“Viral Hepatitis – towards elimination: vaccine or treat?”
Professor Ellie Barnes
Professor of Hepatology and Experimental Medicine, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University
Ellie Barnes is Professor of Hepatology and Experimental Medicine, University of Oxford. She has a long-standing interest in hepatotrophic viruses, viral pathogenesis, immunology and vaccine development. More recently she has led early human experimental medicine studies with the aims of developing a prophylactic HCV vaccine, including 2nd generation HCV vaccines based on conserved viral genomes, and constructs that encode genetic adjuvants with the potential for wide applicability in cancer and infectious disease. She is also developing a program in HBV using simian adenoviral vectored vaccines for HBV immunotherapy.
Ellie was the Chief Investigator for the UK wide MRC funded consortium STOP-HCV developing stratified medicine to optimise patient clinical outcomes (http://www.stop-hcv.ox.ac.uk/home); the consortium has developed new methods for HCV sequencing, identifying drug resistant subtypes, and is currently supporting stratified medicine studies in Vietnam.
The World Health Organization has set a target to achieve elimination of HCV by 2030-but very few countries are likely to achieve this. An effective preventative vaccine would have a major impact on HCV incidence and would represent a major advance towards global HCV control. Progress in the development of new vaccine platforms to induce high magnitude and broad anti-viral immune responses to HCV means that it should be possible to generate effective HCV vaccines. The major hurdles to achieving this are now political and practical issues around the funding and testing of vaccine candidates.
Diagnosis By DNA
“Non-invasive prenatal testing and diagnosis in clinical practice”
Professor Lyn Chitty
Professor of Genetics and Fetal Medicine, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH) & Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH)
Lyn Chitty, Professor of Genetics and Fetal Medicine, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH) & Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has published extensively on prenatal diagnosis and ultrasound screening of fetal abnormalities, and was responsible for creating the fetal size standards now in use throughout the UK and beyond.
Recently her main research interest has been around the use of circulating cell free DNA. She led an NIHR programme -Rapid Accurate Prenatal non-Invasive Diagnosis (RAPID) – which resulted in NHS implementation of NIPD for rare diseases. She continues to work on the implementation of new molecular techniques to improve prenatal diagnosis through implementation of rapid exome sequencing and extended development of NIPD, including developing methods to ensure informed parental consent for these more complex tests.
In 2014 she was appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator. She is an editor of the journal Prenatal Diagnosis and President Elect for the International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis. In addition to her own research, she is Clinical Director for the North Thames NHS Genomic Medicine centre which delivered around 25% of the genomes for the 100,000 Genomes Project, and Medical Director of the London North Genomic Lab Hub, one of seven delivering genomic testing in England.
Big Data in Clinical Research
“Big data and cancer: The establishment of the UK Colorectal Cancer Intelligence Hub”
Professor Eva Morris Professor of Cancer Epidemiology, and lead, Cancer Epidemiology Group, University of Leeds
Professor Eva Morris
Professor of Health Data Epidemiology
Eva Morris is the Professor of Health Data Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health within the University of Oxford. Here she leads a group that specialises in the use of routinely collected health data for patient benefit. Her research is largely centred on the epidemiology of colorectal cancer and she undertakes large-scale population-based studies that seek to quantify variation in the processes of management and outcome of this disease. These studies are generating the evidence needed to inform NHS cancer services. In particular, she leads the UK Colorectal Cancer Intelligence Hub. This is a £3.4m Cancer Research UK programme that involves establishing a UK wide colorectal cancer data repository (known as CORECT-R) that will contain information about the diagnosis, management and outcome of every colorectal cancer diagnosed in the country. CORECT-R will bring together all of the datasets that are relevant to colorectal cancer and securely link them to produce the high-quality cancer intelligence needed to improve outcomes.
New Targets in Cellular Metabolism
“Drugging the cancer genome, the cancer state, and cancer evolution and drug resistance”
Professor Paul Workman
Chief Executive and President of The Institute of Cancer Research, London
Paul Workman is Chief Executive and President of The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London and Harrap Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the ICR. From 1997 to 2016, he was Director of ICR’s CRUK Cancer Therapeutics Unit – the world’s largest non-profit cancer drug discovery group – and is now Director of the CRUK Centre at the ICR and Royal Marsden Hospital.
In 2016, Workman was appointed as inaugural Director of the Cancer Research Centre of Excellence, a strategic alliance between ICR and Imperial College, and in 2019 was announced as inaugural Director of the ICR/Imperial Convergence Science Centre at ICR/Imperial – a CRUK Major Centre focusing on integrating engineering, physical and data sciences with cancer research and treatment.
Workman has been instrumental in the discovery of more than 20 molecularly targeted cancer drugs that have entered clinical trials and is probably best known for the discovery of numerous inhibitors (drugs and chemical probes) of protein and lipid kinases (eg PI3 kinases) as well as molecular chaperones (eg Hsp90 and the HSF1 pathway). He has achieved this through a career spanning academia (MRC, Cambridge; CRUK Beatson Laboratories, Glasgow; sabbatical at Stanford University; and ICR); biotech (co-founder of Piramed Pharma and Chroma Therapeutics; Non-Executive Director of STORM Therapeutics; adviser to many others); and big pharma (AstraZeneca). Workman is also a Board Director of the non-profit Chemical Probes Portal and a Non-Executive Director of the Royal Marsden NHS Trust. Workman has won numerous awards and fellowships, including election as Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and Fellow of the Royal Society. He was named in the Evening Standard’s 2016 Progress 1000 list of the most influential people in London.
Workman’s current research focuses on cancer drug discovery, molecular pharmacology and chemical biology. He has a passion for molecularly targeted precision therapy – an approach he refers to as ‘drugging the cancer genome’. Workman is especially interested in approaches to overcome cancer evolution and drug resistance. He conceptualized and exemplified in practice a systematic approach known as the ‘Pharmacological Audit Trail’ that employs biomarkers to aid rational decision-making and is widely used in drug discovery and development. Workman has published over 550 scientific articles, receiving over 38,000 citations, and has an h-index of 103.
He was listed in 2018 as one the world’s 3,160 most highly cited researchers (Google Scholar). Also in 2018, he was included in the top 6,000 (0.1%) of researchers worldwide by citations (Web of Science) and in the top 2,000 of the world’s researchers with Cross-Field Impact – involving different research disciplines (Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate Analytics). Workman writes, blogs and gives talks about cancer research and drug discovery.
Professor Sir John Bell
Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, and former Chairman of the Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research
Professor Sir John Bell GBE, FRS is Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. He served as President of the Academy of Medical Sciences from 2006 to 2011 and chaired the Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research until 2017. As a Rhodes Scholar (1975-78), Sir John undertook his medical training in the UK and then went on to Stanford University, returning to the UK in 1987. His research interests are in the area of autoimmune disease and immunology where he has contributed to the understanding of immune activation in a range of autoimmune diseases.
In 1993, he founded the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, one of the world’s leading centres for complex trait common disease genetics. In 2001, he was appointed non-executive director of Roche Holding AG and in 2008 he joined the Gates Foundation Global Health Advisory Board which he has chaired since 2012. In December 2011, Sir John was appointed one of two UK Life Sciences Champions by the Prime Minister.
He sits on the board of Genomics England Limited and chairs its Science Advisory Committee. He was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to medicine, medical research and the life science industry. In August 2017, the UK Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, written by Sir John, was published. The report, written in collaboration with industry, academia, charity, and research organisations, provides recommendations to HM Government on the long-term success of the life sciences sector.