Photo credit: IAVI
29 May 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (29 May 2014)— The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) announced today that C. Richter (Rick) King, PhD, has been named director of Research & Development (R&D). MVI drives the development of safe and effective vaccines to combat malaria. Malaria still kills more than 600,000 people worldwide, and half the world’s population remains at risk of contracting the disease.

Dr. King is an accomplished scientist with more than 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors, in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Most recently he served as Vice President of Vaccine Design for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), within their Vaccine Design & Development Laboratory, a role he held for five years. At IAVI, he led the organization’s global efforts to design and prioritize novel AIDS vaccine strategies. Before moving to IAVI, Dr. King served as Senior Vice President of Research at GenVec, Inc., where he led the company’s efforts to identify, select, and advance products for cancer and for ocular and infectious diseases. During his time at GenVec, Dr. King partnered with MVI to advance multicomponent malaria vaccine approaches.

Dr. King will lead work around transmission-blocking vaccines, a priority area of product development for MVI. He will also guide MVI’s portfolio of evaluation technology projects, which aim to refine or develop ways to assess vaccine efficacy prior to large-scale field trials.

“We are tremendously fortunate to have Dr. King join MVI,” said Ashley J. Birkett, PhD, Director of MVI. “This is a pivotal time for us, as we accelerate efforts to develop a future generation of vaccines that will block the transmission of the malaria parasite between people and mosquitoes. His appointment rounds out the leadership of our R&D efforts at MVI and I couldn’t be happier.”

Dr. King has received many peer-reviewed grants and is listed as an inventor on 12 issued patents. He received his PhD in biochemistry from The Johns Hopkins University and his Bachelor of Science from the University of St. Andrews.

“Advancing new treatments and preventions have been a life-long passion,” said Dr. King, “and I am excited to be on the cutting edge of the malaria vaccine development field. I can’t wait to get started.”

About the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

MVI is a global program established at PATH through an initial grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. MVI’s mission is to accelerate the development of malaria vaccines and ensure their availability and accessibility in the developing world. MVI’s vision is a world free from malaria. For more information, please visit

About PATH

PATH is an international nonprofit organization that transforms global health through innovation. PATH takes an entrepreneurial approach to developing and delivering high-impact, low-cost solutions, from lifesaving vaccines and devices to collaborative programs with communities. Through its work in more than 70 countries, PATH and its partners empower people to achieve their full potential. For more information, please visit