Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia conference entitled Transforming Vaccinology, organized by Drs. Rino Rappuoli, Lynda M. Stuart and Federica Sallusto. The conference will be held in Florence, Italy from March 15-19, 2020. Along with clean water and antibiotics, vaccination has allowed mankind to conquer the infectious diseases that used to eradicate about 50% of children. Over the last century, vaccination has also extended life expectancy from under 50 to over 80 years of age. Now that the most important vaccines for infants and children are available, vaccination faces new challenges with the intent to bring the benefits of vaccines to other age groups, emerging infections, antimicrobial resistance, diseases that afflict low-income countries, and to improve therapies against chronic infectious diseases, cancer, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. This new vaccine ambition is supported by the incredible advances in science and technology that make it technically possible to develop vaccines against many new targets and by innovative approaches to vaccine development for emerging infections and for diseases of low-income countries. The technologies that are transforming vaccinology are structure-based design, adjuvants, nucleic acid vaccines (especially RNA), viral vectors, systems biology, and controlled human infections. They are supported by scientific advances in human immunology, genomics, synthetic biology, molecular structure of antigens and antigen-antibody complexes, germinal centers, and microbiome. Conference participants will be exposed to the multidisciplinary technologies that are transforming vaccinology, including the efforts of CEPI, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Welcome Trust, to change the way vaccines are developed.
Over the last century, vaccination has also extended life expectancy from under 50 to over 80 years of age. As vaccines continued to be developed for infants and the elderly, the new challenge facing researchers is to bring the benefits of vaccines to other age groups, emerging infections, diseases of poor countries, and to improve therapies against chronic infectious diseases, cancer, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. The findings presented at this conference will interest biologists as well as physicians concerned with the development of vaccines for neglected diseases and will pave the way for translation of fundamental research into clinical trials and improved medical practice.