Vaccine Science Portfolio Advisory Council (VSPAC)

MVI makes routine use of external experts to move its research and development (R&D) strategy forward. As part of a carefully developed portfolio review process, MVI has established a Vaccine Science Portfolio Advisory Council (VSPAC), which is comprised of eminent malaria scientists and vaccinologists who meet at least once a year to provide strategic input and advice on MVI’s portfolio and overall R&D program.

Current members


Norman Baylor, PhD

Dr. Norman W. Baylor is currently the President and CEO of Biologics Consulting Group, Inc. He was formerly the Director of the Office of Vaccines Research and Review (OVRR) in the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Prior to his position as Director, Dr. Baylor served as Deputy Director of OVRR and Associate Director for Regulatory Policy. He has evaluated and facilitated the development and licensure of numerous new vaccines, such as acellular pertussis, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate, human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza, Zoster, and all of the new-generation combination vaccines during his 20 year career at the FDA.

Dr. Baylor received his BS degree in medical microbiology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his MS and PhD degrees in microbial genetics and molecular microbiology, respectively, from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Baylor spent three years as a postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and three years with Program Resources Incorporated as a Senior Research Scientist at the US National Cancer Institute-Frederick Cancer Research Facility. Dr. Baylor served as the FDA’s liaison to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the US Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Advisory Committee, and the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines. Dr. Baylor continues to serve as an expert advisor to the World Health Organization on several global vaccine initiatives, including assessing national regulatory authorities worldwide.

Brendan Crabb, PhD (Chair)

Professor Brendan Crabb is Director and CEO of the Burnet Institute in Melbourne. Prof. Crabb's expertise is in the study of infectious diseases, particularly those affecting the developing world. The primary driver for his own laboratory's research is the development of a malaria vaccine and the identification of new targets for therapeutic intervention.

In addition, Prof. Crabb is the President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI), the peak body representing 8,000 staff and students of Australia's 40 independent medical research organizations.

He is also Chairman of Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) Council, Chairman of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative's Vaccine Science Portfolio Advisory Council in the US, and Chair of the 2013 Gordon Conference on Malaria in Italy.

Prof. Crabb holds professorial appointments at The University of Melbourne and Monash Universities. Until his appointment as Director of the Burnet Institute, he was a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia and an International Research Fellow of the US-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

He serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Sanger Institute's Malaria Program and the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science. Prof. Crabb was Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal for Parasitology from 2006 to 2009 and remains on its editorial board along with that of Nature Communications and F1000 Reports.

With a strong interest in education, the former lecturer in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at The University of Melbourne is currently involved in educational and curriculum development activities for high school students and teachers through the Gene Technology Access Centre.


Pat Fast, MD, PhD

Dr. Fast received her MD at Michigan State University, isboard certifiedin pediatrics (University of Michigan), and also holds a PhD in immunology from theUniversity of Californiaat Los Angeles (UCLA). She has worked for over 20 years on the clinical development of vaccines. She joined the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) from the biotechnology company Aviron, where she oversaw studies of vaccines against influenza and cytomegalovirus.

Before joining IAVI, Dr. Fast led clinical research on HIV vaccines while serving as associate director for vaccines and prevention at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Division of AIDS. Dr. Fast also serves as the Chair for the Vaccine Advisory Committee of Aeras, currently serves on the UNAIDS/WHO Vaccine Advisory Committee,and is Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stanford University School of Medicine.


Barney S. Graham, MD, PhD

Dr. Barney Graham is an immunologist, virologist, and clinical trials physician whose primary interests are viral pathogenesis, immunity, and vaccine development. His work is focused on HIV, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and emerging viral diseases. After graduating from Rice University, he obtained his MD from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1979. He then completed residency and two chief residencies in Internal Medicine, a fellowship in Infectious Diseases, and a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he rose to the rank of Professor of Medicine with a joint appointment in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. In 2000 he became one of the founding investigators for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he is now the Deputy Director and Chief of the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory, and oversees the advanced development of VRC candidate vaccine products.

Dr. Graham is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians, and a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America and the American Academy of Microbiology. He has authored more than 280 scientific publications and has been on editorial boards for the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Virology, Journal of Infectious Diseases, and Journal of AIDS. He serves as a consultant for organizations involved in vaccine development for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, RSV, and other pathogens. His laboratory investigates basic mechanisms by which T cells affect viral clearance and immunopathology, explores mechanisms of antibody-mediated viral neutralization, and develops vaccines to prevent respiratory virus infections.


Kevin Marsh, MB, ChB

Kevin Marsh is a senior advisor at the African Academy of Sciences and professor of tropical medicine at the University of Oxford. He qualified in medicine at the University of Liverpool in 1978 and began his research career at the Medical Research Council Unit in the Gambia. From 1985 to 1989 he was at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford and in 1989 established with colleagues a series of research projects on the clinical epidemiology and immunology of malaria at Kilifi on the Kenyan coast. These projects have subsequently developed into an international programme—the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme, involving around 800 staff working across a number of countries in eastern Africa—of which he was director until August 2014.

Kevin Marsh has a particular interest in developing and strengthening research capacity and scientific leadership in Africa and has sponsored or supervised more than 40 research fellows and doctoral students, including four winners of the Royal Society Pfizer prize for research in Africa. He is currently supporting the development of a new platform for the acceleration of science in Africa through the African Academy of Sciences. He is chair of the World Health Organization (WHO) Malaria Policy Advisory Committee and is a member of a number of international advisory committees relating to malaria and to global health research. He was elected a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2004 and was awarded the Prince Mahidol prize for medicine in 2010.


Isabella Quakyi, MSc, PhD

Isabella Akyinbah Quakyi is Professor of Immunology and Parasitology and Foundation Dean of the School of Public Health (SPH), College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana (UG), and a 2014 Laureate of the prestigious African Union Kwame Nkrumah Award for Women in Science.  She is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, a past member of the Ghana Health Service Council, and current Chair of the Ghana Malaria Vaccine Technical Working Group. She completed her PhD in Immunoparasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, in 1980.  She returned to the UG Medical School, Department of Haematology as a lecturer in immunology and later established the immunology unit at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical research (NMIMR), UG, from 1980 to 1983. From June 1983 to 1990, she joined an international research team at the US National Institutes of Health, directed by Dr. Louis Miller, to conduct malaria vaccine development research.  She moved to Georgetown University from 1990 to 2001.

Prof. Quakyi returned to the University of Ghana in 2001 as Professor of Immunology and Parasitology. She has more than 70 publications in peer reviewed journals, has received a number of awards, and serves on a number of national and international boards and committees.

Professor Quakyi’s research and teaching over the past three decades has focused on malaria, including immunity, immunoepidemiology, immunopathology, immunodiagnosis, autoimmunity, molecular immunology, and vaccine development.  Her contributions to the field of malaria immunoparasitology and cellular and molecular immunology include the cloning of Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein and subsequent peptide vaccine development.  Her work is also contributing to research on concomitant infections with measles and HIV/AIDS.


Professor David Salisbury, CB, FRCP, FRCPCH, FFPH

Professor David Salisbury is Director of Immunisation at the Department of Health, London, where he is responsible for the national immunization program.

Professor Salisbury graduated from London University in 1969. He trained as a pediatrician at Oxford and at the Hospital for Sick Children, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Faculty of Public Health. He has an honorary chair in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College, London. Professor Salisbury was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2001 Birthday Honours.

In addition to his UK responsibilities, Professor Salisbury works extensively with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the Global Programme for Vaccines. He was the Chair of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccines from 2005 to 2010, is Chair of the European Region Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication, and is a member of the Eastern Mediterranean Polio Elimination Certification Commission and the South East Asian Polio Elimination Certification Commission. During 2009, Professor Salisbury chaired the WHO H1N1 vaccine working group. He is Co-chair of the Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Group for the Global Health Security Action Group of G7 countries. He is a liaison member of the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the US National Vaccine Advisory Committee. He also chairs the European Vaccine Advisory Group for the European Centre for Disease Control and is Co-chair of the research and development work stream for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Decade of Vaccines initiative. He is a member of the Malaria Advisory Panel for the Gates Foundation and a Science Advisory Council member for the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.

Professor Salisbury has written approximately 90 publications on immunization and pediatric topics.


Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, PhD

Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sékaly has been for the past two years the Co-Director and Chief Scientific Officer of VGTI Florida (the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute), which focuses on the development of better immune therapies and vaccines to chronic viral diseases and cancer. Dr. Sékaly obtained his PhD in biochemistry at the Université of Lausanne in 1984. He has been involved in the areas of AIDS and AIDS pathogenesis for the past 15 years. Dr. Sékaly’s group has been at the forefront of novel assay development which has allowed the characterization of the qualitative and quantitative features of the immune response at the single-cell level. He is now fully focused on applying systems biology to unravelling defects in different cells (innate and adaptive) of the immune response.

In addition to his scientific work and leadership at VGTI Florida, Dr. Sékaly is the Founder and Scientific Director of the National Laboratory of Immune Monitoring. In 2009, he was one of four winners of the Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, for his work on the HIV reservoir. This award carries a grant of $500,000 per year for five years. Dr. Sékaly has also been awarded, with his colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, a $25 million award for work aimed at identifying novel approaches to eradicate HIV.


Fidel Zavala, MD

Dr. Fidel Zavala is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. He initiated his research career at New York University School of Medicine in 1980. After a postdoctoral training in 1984, he joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor, and in 1999, he became Professor. In 2003, he joined Johns Hopkins University as Professor and member of the Malaria Research Institute. He has served as a member of the editorial board of Infection and Immunity, Experimental Parasitology, and Journal of Immunological Methods; as Editor of Parasitology International; and recently, as Associate Editor of The Journal of Immunology. He served as a member of the Advisory Board of the European Virtual Institute of Malaria Research, and since 2010, he is a permanent member of the US National Institutes of Health Pathogenic Eukaryotes Study Section.

The main focus of Dr. Zavala’s research is immunology of malaria parasite infections and vaccine immunology. He has published more than 130 scientific articles, on epitope characterization of antibody responses, development of subunit vaccines, and immunobiology of CD8+ T cell responses against malaria parasites.


Kathryn C. Zoon, PhD

Dr. Kathryn C. Zoon is the Director of the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, US National Institutes of Health. The DIR conducts basic and clinical research related to infectious diseases, immunology, and allergy, with the ultimate goal of contributing to the development of new and improved therapies, diagnostics, and vaccines to improve human health. She also serves as the DIR’s Chief of the Cytokine Biology Section, which conducts research on the structure and function of human interferon alphas.

Dr. Zoon has more than 35 years of experience in the area of biomedical research and product development, of which almost a decade was spent as the Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the US Food and Drug Administration, an organization responsible for the licensing of hundreds of biological products. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine, Associate Editor of the Journal of Interferon Research, and the Federal Liaison to the Board of the International Association of Biologicals. In addition, she serves on the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Biological Standardization, the US Department of Defense Malaria Vaccine Program Scientific Advisory Board, and the US Agency for International Development Vaccine Development Scientific Consultants Group. She earned her PhD in biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University.



Vasee Moorthy, MD, PhD

Dr. Vasee Moorthy serves as the malaria vaccine focal point for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. He acts as Secretariat for two WHO malaria vaccine advisory committees—Malaria Vaccine Advisory Committee and Joint Technical Expert Group—which provide recommendations to WHO about malaria vaccine research and development and clinical evaluation. He facilitates the global Malaria Vaccine Funders Group and works to find synergies among funders to accelerate development of malaria vaccines for developing countries. His role includes coordination of development of global norms and standards within malaria vaccine development. He has previously served as Senior Program Officer in clinical vaccinology at the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.

Dr. Moorthy has 15 years of experience covering clinical infectious diseases and tropical medicine, five years based in sub-Saharan Africa conducting malaria vaccine field trials and clinical malaria research. He serves on various data and safety monitoring boards and scientific advisory committees, is an editorial board member of PLoS ONE, reviews articles from academic journals, including The Lancet and The Lancet Infectious Diseases. He holds a BA (first class) in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge, a clinical medicine degree from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in malaria immunology from the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford.

Former members


John H. Adams, PhD, MSc

Fred Binka, MBChB, PhD, MPH

John Boslego, MD

David Kaslow, MD

Kamini Mendis, MD, PhD, DSc

Tom Monath, MD

Hassan Mshinda, PhD, MSc

Marie Paule Kieny, PhD

Rino Rappuoli, PhD

George Siber, MD

Moriya Tsuji, MD, PhD