WASHINGTON, DC – March 6, 2015 – The members of the Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI)  consortium, the International Vaccine Institute, the Johns Hopkins University International Vaccine Access Center, the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the World Health Organization, are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Annelies Wilder-Smith as Senior Advisor to the DVI, effective immediately.

“We are extraordinarily pleased that Professor Wilder-Smith has joined us to provide guidance to DVI and ensure a smooth transition until a new full-time Director joins the Initiative. Her leadership in the research of dengue control and surveillance strategies will contribute to our efforts of laying the groundwork for the introduction of a dengue vaccine” said Dr. Jerome Kim, International Vaccine Institute Director General.

Specifically, Professor Wilder-Smith will prepare strategies and provide scientific direction of DVI’s current and future programmatic activities. In addition, she will provide overall coordination and management of the DVI consortium, including leading regular Consortium Management Committee meetings; provide technical advice on the Program’s field activities; and advise and provide transitional support to the new DVI Director when the candidate is in place, which DVI will announce on its website and social media platforms.

“It is a great joy to take up the role of Senior Advisor at this crucial time of the dengue vaccine development and introduction process,”said Professor Wilder-Smith.

Professor Wilder-Smith is a tenured Professor of Infectious Diseases Research at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She is also a Visiting Professor at Umea University in Sweden. Her research interests are vaccine-preventable diseases and emerging infectious diseases, particularly dengue, meningococcal disease, and influenza. Her general interests and expertise include travel and tropical medicine, as well as vaccinology. She has led or co-led various clinical trials, in particular, trials for dengue and influenza vaccines. Currently, she is the Lead Principal Investigator and Coordinator of a large international research consortium funded by the European Commission that is focused on developing novel strategies and tools for dengue surveillance and control. She has more than 170 scientific publications in international-peer reviewed journals, including The New England Journal of MedicineThe Lancet, Emerging Infectious Diseases and Clinical Infectious Diseases.

About the Dengue Vaccine Initiative

DVI’s mission is to encourage the development and consideration of vaccines to prevent dengue – a debilitating and sometimes fatal viral disease which cannot be treated with drugs or antibiotics.  As a consortium of organizations committed to preventing dengue, DVI is laying the groundwork for dengue vaccine decision-making and introduction in endemic areas.

Read the release on the Dengue Vaccine Initiative's website.

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Rebecca Van Roy