Human models to study human diseases:
Why Not?
1:50 - 2:20 PM | Zinner Breakout Room
2:20 - 2:50 PM | Collaboratory in Shapiro Lounge

This is a Post Event Networking Session

For BWH and the greater Harvard community, it is imperative that we be leaders in this field and avail ourselves of the opportunities to facilitate development of new medicines for infectious agents via an established and well-supported center for human infectious disease challenges.

About The Roundtable

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization have recently approved cholera and typhoid vaccines based on results from human challenges where volunteers are experimentally injected with infectious organisms in a safe and controlled manner. This is a significant milestone in the world of vaccine development because human biology is unique and very difficult to mimic in laboratory settings – so the vast majority of drugs that have been developed through traditional means by using animal models, etc. end up failing.

For BWH and the greater Harvard community, it is imperative that we be leaders in this field and avail ourselves of the opportunities to facilitate development of new medicines for infectious agents via an established and well-supported center for human infectious disease challenges. The BRI Infectious & Immunologic Diseases Research Program has recently conferred a BRI NextGen Award to explore the possibility of creating a human disease challenges center at the hospital. This session will brainstorm the regulatory, ethical and biosafety considerations of setting up such a Center at BWH as well as the ability to fund and sustain it successfully in the long term.

CHAIR

Gerald B. Pier, MA, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

DISCUSSANTS

Gerald B. Pier, MA, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Yemi Talabi-Oates, MBA
Administrative Director,
Center for Clinical Investigation    

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Biographies

Gerald Pier, PhD

Gerald Pier is a Professor of Medicine (Microbiology and Immunobiology) at Harvard Medical School and a Microbiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of California, Berkeley, and then had a National Research Council post-doctoral fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. His major research focus is in the areas of bacterial pathogenesis and antigenic targets for vaccines. Dr. Pier has published over 315 peer-reviewed papers, edited an immunology textbook for ASM Press and contributed chapters to the major textbooks of medicine and infectious diseases.  He is currently a member of the NIH Study Section Host Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens, an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology, an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of numerous professional organizations. Current research focuses on the role of antibiotic resistance in microbial fitness, the utility of the broadly expressed microbial surface polysaccharide, poly-N-acetyl glucosamine (PNAG) to serve as a vaccine target using both active and passive immunotherapies as well as on the alginate capsule of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Monoclonal antibodies for both are in phase II trials in humans as is a vaccine for PNAG.

Yemi Talabi-Oates, MBA

Yemi Talabi-Oates has been at the Brigham for over 10 years in the Center for Clinical Investigations. She manages centralized clinical research resources such as research dedicated clinical spaces and clinical research personnel including biostatisticians, nurses, nutrition staff and mid-level practitioners. She has experience assisting investigators in implementing and completing both industry and federally funded studies at the Brigham.