Vaccinopolis -
Pierre Van Damme

The Vaccinopolis team is a multidisciplinary team, with a large experience in the conduct of vaccine trials and infectious disease research. Since 1984 more than 500 national and international safety, immunogenicity & efficacy vaccine trials were conducted, related to diverse pathogens (e.g. HBV, polio, influenza, Ross River, Dengue, HPV, Chikungunya, Lassa, COVID-19), vaccine formulations and ways of administration, ranging from phase 1 to phase 4 trials and involving volunteer populations of different age groups.

Vaccinopolis builds on the teams’ experience with polio vaccine studies to develop a strong capacity to conduct controlled human infection model (CHIM) studies and actively engages in global efforts to develop appropriate challenge models for highly pathogenic microorganisms. The team is committed to contribute to the assessment of candidate and commercialized vaccines targeting epidemic and endemic pathogens.

Vaccinopolis is a unique 6000 m2 facility, strategically located at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, in the heart of Europe. It encompasses a thirty bed quarantine unit (BSL-3 grade), an ambulant vaccine trial unit and fully equipped BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories.

If offers the unique flexibility to perform virtually any type of vaccine trial, with the option to run ambulant and contained trails in parallel. We strongly believe that this infrastructure can considerably accelerate the evaluation of candidate vaccines.

Prof. Dr. Pierre Van Damme obtained his MD from the University of Antwerp, in 1984 and was for more than 35 years active in vaccine research. Since 2000 he is full professor in Vaccinology at the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Pierre Van Damme is director of the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination (CEV, University of Antwerp), which he founded in 1994. The CEV is a WHO Collaborating Centre for the WHO European Region for the control and prevention of infectious diseases. Pierre Van Damme has authored more than 550 peer-reviewed papers and obtained several awards: the Research Award of the University of Antwerp, the Belgian Social Medicine Award ‘Jean Van Beneden’ for his work on the introduction of universal hepatitis B immunization programs; the prestigious Bill Marshall award of the ESPID society (2014); the ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals) with the European Outstanding Leadership Award (2017); the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Foundation 2017); the Balmis distinction Award (Almeria, Spain, 2017), the AHA Antwerp Innovation award (2019) and the scientific communication award UAntwerpen (2021). He is a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of  Medicine since 2008.

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