March 4, 2024

The immune biology of natural and immune escape pandemics/epidemics - UPDATED!

In this second running of this unique deep dive into the immune biology of epidemics and pandemics, Dr Vanden Bossche will bring new insights and updated material in order to provide comprehensive insights into the intricate interplay between pathogens and the host immune system. If you would like a comprehensive understanding how this natural interaction influences the evolutionary dynamics of viral immune evasion and the adaptive responses of the host immune system at a population level, then you can’t afford to miss this course. Even if you were one of the lucky ones to join Dr Vanden Bossche’s first course in 2023, attending again will deepen your knowledge base, give you new insights in this very complex area and allow you to interact once more with Dr Vanden Bossche and have your questions answered.

This course also covers the influence of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions on the complex relationship between pathogens and the host immune system. It explains how large-scale human interventions in this delicate balance may affect the evolutionary dynamics of pandemics or multi-country epidemics. It also shows how populations develop herd immunity to fight global outbreaks, which can control the pathogen and drive it into endemicity to make them a regular part of the environment. The emphasis will be mainly placed on highly contagious pathogens that suddenly cause(d) acute epidemics or pandemics (such as, for example, coronaviruses, influenza viruses, enteroviruses, poxviruses). By gaining deeper insights into how immune responses can either control the pathogen or lead to pathogen immune escape, students will learn how a better understanding of this complex ecosystem can inform sound pandemic/epidemic management and preparedness. Additionally, you’ll understand the biological rationale underlying the differences between global pandemics like COVID-19, epidemics that spread across countries, and smaller outbreaks, and how we can best respond to them.

Click here to book your place!

Click here to download the PDF Flyer

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Geert Vanden Bossche received his DVM from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and his PhD degree in Virology from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. He held adjunct faculty appointments at universities in Belgium and Germany. After his career in Academia, Geert joined several vaccine companies (GSK Biologicals, Novartis Vaccines, Solvay Biologicals) to serve various roles in vaccine R&D as well as in late vaccine development.

Geert then moved on to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Discovery team in Seattle (USA) as Senior Program Officer; he then worked with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in Geneva as Senior Ebola Program Manager. At GAVI he tracked efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine. He also represented GAVI in fora with other partners, including WHO, to review progress on the fight against Ebola and to build plans for global pandemic preparedness.

Back in 2015, Geert scrutinized and questioned the safety of the Ebola vaccine that was used in ring vaccination trials conducted by WHO in Guinea. His critical scientific analysis and report on the data published by WHO in the Lancet in 2015 was sent to all international health and regulatory authorities involved in the Ebola vaccination program. After working for GAVI, Geert joined the German Center for Infection Research in Cologne as Head of the Vaccine Development Office. He is at present primarily serving as a Biotech / Vaccine consultant while also conducting his own research on Natural Killer cell-based vaccines.


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