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Dean's Workshops

Vaccine Initiatives at Yale

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

This workshop introduces the new vaccine initiatives network, which brings together researchers and other partners spanning biological, clinical, and public health sciences who are committed to improving population health through vaccination.

The workshop highlights vaccine programs from the interdisciplinary network to catalyze interest and synergies across the University. It includes a keynote address from our former colleague Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marks is overseeing the FDA review process for coronavirus vaccine candidates.

  • Introduction and Welcome: Vaccine Initiatives at Yale

    Nancy J. Brown, MD, Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine and C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine welcomed participants, describing the new network as bringing together researchers and other partners from biological, clinical and public health services who are committed to improving public health around the world through safe and effective vaccination.

  • Introduction to Network of Vaccine Initiatives at Yale

    Linda M. Niccolai, PhD, ScM, professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases), Yale School of Public Health, and director of the Connecticut Emerging Infections Program at Yale, is a leader in organizing the network. She described its goal of recruiting diverse faculty and staff from across the university.

  • Development of An Effective Viral Vaccine Platform: "The Ebola Story,"

    John K. Rose, PhD, professor emeritus of pathology and senior research scientist, provided details of development of the Merck Ebola vaccine, which was FDA licensed in 2019, and work on VSV (vesicular stomatitis viruses) in general.

  • Vaccine Clinical Trials During Pandemic

    Inci Yildirim, MD, PhD, MSc, associate professor of pediatrics (infectious diseases) discussed trial phases, covid-19 vaccine trials, and pandemic-related challenges that her team faced.

  • SARS CoV-2 Vaccines ... Hot Updates on Cold Vaccines

    Onyema Ogbuagu, MBBCh, associate professor of medicine (AIDS); director, HIV Clinical Trials, Yale AIDS Program, discussed his personal experiences as principal investigator of Yale’s COVID-19 vaccine trials.

  • Effectiveness of Vaccines

    Marietta Vázquez, MD, professor of pediatrics (general pediatrics); vice-chair, diversity, equity, and inclusion, Department of Pediatrics; director, Yale Children's Hispanic Clinic (Y-CHiC), discussed the progression from efficacy in trials to effectiveness under “real-world conditions” for COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Vaccines in Older Adults

    Albert C. Shaw, MD, PhD, professor of medicine (infectious diseases) discussed issues related to the use of vaccines in older adults, including how age affects the immune response.

  • Using Mathematical Models To Understand Transmission Of Infection In Vaccinated Populations

    Virginia E. Pitzer, ScD, associate professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases), Yale School of Public Health, discussed how mathematical models can be used to understand the transmission of infection in vaccinated populations, including direct vs. indirect (herd immunity) vaccine protection.

  • Vaccination Policy and Politics During the Covid-19 Pandemic

    Jason L. Schwartz, PhD, assistant professor of public health (health policy) and in the history of medicine, discussed how he and colleagues have contributed to the discussion of vaccine policy and politics, including “Operation Warp Speed” and political pressures to accelerate approval of vaccines as evidence of safety and efficacy was being reviewed.

  • The Science of Vaccine Acceptance

    Saad B. Omer, MBBS, MPH, PhD, director, Yale Institute for Global Health; associate dean (global health research); and professor of medicine (infectious diseases), discussed the science of vaccine acceptance: including the consideration of thoughts and feelings, attitudes, and biases; trust, social norms, beliefs, experiences, and fears; and moral values, ideology, identity, and worldview.

  • Introduction of Peter Marks

    Carlos R. Oliveira, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics (infectious diseases); and director of Congenital Infectious Diseases at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, introduced Peter Marks, MD, PhD, keynote speaker.

  • Considerations for Vaccine Approval In A Pandemic

    In the session’s keynote address, Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration, described the steps and considerations involved in approving a vaccine during a pandemic, including the FDA’s role across the lifecycle of vaccine development and distribution.

  • Closing Remarks: Vaccine Initiatives at Yale

    Nancy J. Brown, MD, Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine and C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine, gave closing remarks in which she thanked participants.

Needs Analysis

This workshop hosted by the School of Medicine Dean’s office introduces the new Network for Vaccine Initiatives at Yale. The focus of the program is to present the breadth of vaccine research occurring across Yale, and to identify synergies across programs and foster collaboration. The workshop highlights multidisciplinary groups across campus including basic science, clinical research, and social, behavioral, and policy work. The ultimate goal is to collaborate and innovate on vaccine work at Yale to maximize the public health benefit of safe and effective vaccines around the world.


  1. Introduce the Network for Vaccine Initiatives at Yale as a new program to support rigorous and collaborative vaccine research at Yale.
  2. Describe current vaccine research at Yale spanning basic, clinical, and public health spheres.
  3. Identify synergistic opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration to address pressing research questions about vaccines

Accreditation Statement

Yale School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation Statement

Yale School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.