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Description: The coronavirus pandemic has prompted unprecedented collaboration across academia, government and industry to leverage cutting edge approaches to characterize COVID and discover and develop approaches to prevent it. Key among these are vaccines that have been authorized and approved in record time. Dr. Levy discusses the application of precision medicine principles- the concept that groups of individuals can vary in their response to a medicine- as they apply to vaccines and the lessons learned from applying these principles to the global pandemic. Tremendous challenges and opportunities lie ahead…. Ofer Levy MD, PhD, brings precision medicine principles to vaccine research. He does this by building collaborative, multi-disciplinary international teams that create innovative vaccines tailored to the specific needs of vulnerable populations.
Together with his colleagues, he has developed unique, blood-based systems that enable study of human immunity outside the body. Using these tools, the team discovered that the human immune system changes markedly with age, revealing the need to develop vaccines optimized to protect specific populations at high risk of infection such as the very young or older adults.
Dr. Levy is the Director of the Precision Vaccines Program, staff physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. He is currently leading an NIH/NIAID-funded Human Immunology Project Consortium center, which is working to define molecular mechanisms of vaccine protection in infants across the globe, including West Africa and Australasia. His research projects also include NIH- and Gates foundation-supported discovery and development of adjuvants, small molecules that boost immune responses and can be used to create age-specific vaccines. Dr. Levy and the Precision Vaccines Network are now working on adjuvant-boosted vaccines to provide protection against COVID-19, influenza, pertussis (whooping cough), HIV, and opioid use disorder/overdose. A member of the U.S. FDA coronavirus vaccine advisory committee, he has authored of over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles in journals such as Science Translational Medicine, Nature Reviews Immunology and Immunity. He has given multiple TED/TEDx talks and his work has been featured on news outlets such as CNN, FOXBusiness News, NBC Nightly News, BBC World Service, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, National Geographic and Scientific American.
Ofer Levy MD, PhD
Staff Physician & Principal Investigator
Director, Precision Vaccines Program
Division of Infectious Diseases
Boston Children's Hospital
Professor, Harvard Medical School
Associate Member, Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at ted.com/tedx
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