|Sept 12, 2008 - Early Life Immunology day at IMI|
On the 12th of September, IMI will organise a workshop on neonatal immunology. On this occasion, Tobias Kollmann from the University of British Columbia (Canada) and Willem Hanekom from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) will present their work on the ontogeny of innate immunity and on BCG immunisation of newborns. A detailed program of the workshop will soon be posted on IMI website
Tobias Kollmann (MD-PhD) is a clinician-scientist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics of University of British Columbia. He arrived in Canada from the University of Washington School of Medicine. His major clinical interests include infections of the newborn, his research focuses on neonatal immunization.
In the 1980s he visited Africa as a medical clerk. These trips changed his life, and mark the beginning of his interest in HIV, immunology, and vaccines. Following a sojourn at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, where he received his MD and PhD (his PhD thesis was on developing animal models of HIV), he went on to pediatric residency training in Seattle. He returned to his interest in immunology and vaccines during his fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, which he also completed in Seattle.
In 2005, Dr. Kollmann received a prestigious five-year Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award to study "Induction of protective immunity to Listeria in neonates." His work focuses on genetically manipulating strains of Listeria to deliver vaccines and stimulate the immune response in neonates.
Willem Hanekom qualified as a pediatrician at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He then completed a clinical pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. While a research associate at Rockefeller University in New York, he completed studies of dendritic cell interactions with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. During this time he also developed international projects aimed at characterizing host immune responses induced by BCG. Dr. Hanekom has continued to work on these projects while holding a faculty position at the University of Miami. Currently, he is Associate Professor and Laboratory Director of the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. His studies focus on understanding protective immunity against tuberculosis, and testing novel tuberculosis vaccines clinically.
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