How to Vaccinate the World?

Monday, April 12, 2021
10:30 a.m.
Online via Zoom

Dr. Tarit Mukhopadhyay will deliver the 2021 David F. Ollis lecture, “How to Vaccinate the World?”at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 12. The lecture, which is supported by the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and BTEC, may be attended by anyone via this Zoom link.

The current pandemic has reminded the public of the utility of vaccines. However, common challenges face the industry, such as speed, supply, risk and distribution. This talk will discuss some of the limitations of the status quo, the challenges in the current vaccine market, and what technologies and approaches could be utilized to ensure that these lifesaving products reach all of those in need of vaccination.

Dr. Mukhopadhyay is head of Vaccine Process R&D at Merck Research Laboratories, where he oversees the development of Merck’s pipeline vaccine projects including projects on dengue, PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), and COVID vaccines at West Point, Pa. He was formerly the chair of the Vaccine Development Working Group for the UK Vaccine Network, which was established by the UK government to develop strategies and policies to tackle disease outbreaks of epidemic potential. He has also acted as a reviewer for both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

As a former professor in vaccine bioprocessing at the Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London (UCL), Dr. Mukhopadhyay headed up the vaccine bioprocess research portfolio. His work spanned Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine, a novel tandem-core hepatitis B virus-like particle, influenza, and the use of lentiviruses for gene therapy. His work later focused on global health and vaccine access, with one grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on low-cost vaccine manufacturing (ULTRA) and the second from the UK government to create a Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub (VaxHub). Trained as a biochemical engineer at UCL, he earned a doctorate in engineering in a joint venture between UCL and Public Health England, Porton Down, working on two vaccines of commercial interest, a novel meningitis B vaccine and the UK-licensed anthrax vaccine.

The annual David F. Ollis lecture celebrates the pioneering contributions of David Ollis, university distinguished professor emeritus, to the field. Dr. Ollis and his colleague, Dr. James Baily, authored the first biochemical engineering textbook in 1977. A 2004 recipient of the National Science Foundation Director’s Award, he has authored more than 130 journal articles, published four books, and delivered more than 200 invited lectures. Sponsored by the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and BTEC, the Ollis lecture series is a showcase for nationwide expertise.