Given the emergence of novel infectious diseases such as avian influenza H7N9, the persistence of neglected tropical diseases and unremitting concerns about bio-terrorism, it is imperative for vaccine researchers to have the opportunity to discuss the latest advances in vaccinology, learn new methods to accelerate vaccine research, and establish inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations. The Vaccine Renaissance conference is a unique, high-quality and independently-funded (non-commercial) vaccine conference hosted by the Institute of Immunology and Informatics (iCubed) at the University of Rhode Island, and has provided international, national and regional vaccine developers with an important opportunity to share their research and establish interdisciplinary collaborations at seven successful events over the past decade. The primary objective of the Vaccine Renaissance Conference is to continue to provide a unique interactive forum for the discussion of cutting-edge vaccine research, including new tools and techniques for accelerating vaccine discovery. The secondary objective is to provide academic researchers, vaccine industry leaders and students of vaccinology with an opportunity to discuss potential collaborations. Consistent with these objectives, the conference includes content tracks focusing on biodefense, global health, novel vaccine approaches, new vaccine delivery vehicles and adjuvants, and cutting-edge vaccine-related immunology research. In addition, the conference features 'hands-on'training in immunoinformatics and bench-based techniques in sessions that are hosted within the laboratories of the Institute. To expand the reach of the conference and make the resulting discussions more accessible, an annual 'Proceedings'that features reviews and original research by the participants is published in the highly regarded journal Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. Seven successful, well-attended conferences have taken place to date, opening new perspectives in vaccine research while also enabling a wide range of researchers including many women and minority trainees to interact with established vaccinologists. In the current proposal, we propose to extend this unique, highly successful and interactive conference for five more years, from 2014 through 2018.

Public Health Relevance

Given the threat of emerging infectious diseases, global pandemics and bioterrorism, there is increased interest in the science of vaccine development. The Institute for Immunology and Informatics at the University of Rhode Island has developed a unique, three-day conference for leading vaccine researchers and developers based in Providence, Rhode Island. Seven such conferences have been held to date. In the current proposal, we request funding to extend the conference for an additional five years. The Vaccine Renaissance is well-regarded by academics and industry researchers for the interdisciplinary nature of the presentations and because it provides an important opportunity for minority and female trainees to attend and establish individual connections with leading vaccinologists. These annual conferences are to be called Vaccine Renaissance 8 (through 12) and will take place in Providence between 2014 and 2018.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Conference (R13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1)
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Coulter, Nancy A
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University of Rhode Island
Anatomy/Cell Biology
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United States
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De Groot, Anne S; Moise, Lenny (2016) Innovation, urgency and acceptance at the 9th Vaccine Renaissance. Hum Vaccin Immunother 12:3186-3188
Spero, Denice; Levitz, Lauren; De Groot, Anne S (2013) Report from the field: Overview of the Sixth Annual Vaccine Renaissance Conference. Hum Vaccin Immunother 9:1555-7