NYAS A/H1N1 Influenza "Swine flu" Symposium in NYC

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This is an overview of the NYAS symposium about Influenza A/H1N1 "swine flu" outbreak that I was invited to attend on 28 May 2009 in NYC.

Under the auspices of the New York Academy of Sciences' Emerging Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Discussion Group, vaccine experts, epidemiologists, and policymakers from around the United States met in New York City to discuss the current outbreak of Influenza A/H1N1 -- "swine flu." The program presented information about influenza beginning with an overview of the 1976 influenza outbreak; the basic biology of influenza viruses and the specific molecular biology of the current "swine" flu virus; immunology and ongoing research into influenza vaccine development; antiviral agents that are effective against influenza when vaccines are not available; and ending with a narrative of the H1N1 outbreak in New York City during the previous month.

Speaker Schedule:

Opening Remarks
Gabrielle Reickhof, PhD
New York Academy of Sciences

Doris Bucher, PhD
New York Medical College

Doris Bucher is associate professor at New York Medical College, where her lab is one of just three worldwide which produce 'seed' viruses for the influenza vaccine, used to produce 400-450 million doses of vaccine.

Keynote Address: The Great Non-Pandemic of 1976
Edwin D. Kilbourne, MD
New York Medical College

Edwin D. Kilbourne is emeritus professor of microbiology and immunology at New York Medical College and an internationally recognized research scientist. He has made significant contributions to the study and prevention of influenza and other viral diseases and developed the first genetically engineered vaccine of any kind more than 30 years ago.

Bridging from Management of Seasonal and Avian Influenza Virus Infection to Pandemic Prepaedness
Dominick A. Iacuzio, PhD
Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.

Dominick Iacuzio is medical director at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc, manufacturer of anti-viral drugs.

Active and Passive Immunization for Influenza
Kanta Subbarao, MD, MPH
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, NIH

Kanta Subbarao is senior investigator at the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, NIH where she works on the development of vaccines against pandemic strains of influenza.

CDC Response to the Novel swH1N1 Outbreak: Putting Pandemic Preparedness to the Test
Michael W. Shaw, PhD
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Michael W. Shaw is associate director for laboratory science in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Influenza Division, where he is currently overseeing the massive effort to understand this new influenza outbreak. Shaw has been working with influenza for more than 30 years, the last 16 of them at the CDC.

Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic: Towards a Pre-Pandemic Vaccination Approach
Philip R. Dormitzer, MD, PhD
Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics

Philip Dormitzer is senior director and senior project leader of Viral Vaccine Research at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Cambridge, where he works on the development of influenza and other viral vaccines.

Considerations in Vaccine Development
John Treanor, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

John Treanor is professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and director of its Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit.

Novel Influenza A (H1N1)-Swine Origin: The Public Health Perspective
Scott Harper, MD, MPH, MSc
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Scott Harper is medical epidemiologist at the Zoonotic, Influenza, and Vectorborne Diseases Unit of the Bureau of Communicable Disease, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Panel Discussion
Moderator: James Matthews, PhD
Sanofi Pasteur, Inc

James Matthews is senior director of health and science policy at Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. His current focus is U.S. government contracts primarily in pandemic preparedness, as well as biodefense and emerging diseases.

The Academy offered a live webinar of this event, and slides and audio from the speakers as well as a complete eBriefing will be available soon, including a detailed written meeting summary, links to related resources, and interviews with Michael Shaw and Doris Bucher.

I am working on essays of these talks, including some of the slides from these presentations as well. They will be published on this blog and links will be added to these essays from this page.

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