Prof Rino Rappuoli

Rino Rappuoli is Global Head of Vaccines Research at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics and is based in Siena, Italy. He earned his PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Siena and has served as visiting scientist at Rockefeller University in New York and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Prior to the present position he was head R&D of Sclavo and then head of vaccine research and Chief Scientific Officer of Chiron Corporation.

Several molecules he worked with became part, or are near to becoming, licensed vaccines. These include: CRM197 used in H. influenzae, N. meningitidis and pneumococcus vaccines; an acellular vaccine against pertussis containing a genetically detoxified pertussis toxin; the first conjugate vaccine against meningococcus C and later against meningococcus ACYW; the MF59 used in a vaccine against pandemic influenza; and the genome-derived vaccine against meningococcus B currently under review by European and Canadian regulatory agencies.

He was elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the European Molecular Biology Organization. Awards conferred include: Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (1991), the Gold Medal by the Italian President (2005), the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal (2009), the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Human Virology in Maryland (2010), and the Excellence Award from the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (2011).

He has introduced several novel scientific concepts (genetic detoxification, 1987, cellular microbiology, 1996; reverse vaccinology, 2000; pangenome, 2005).