Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI joins the European Vaccine Initiative

10 January 2011
Professor Eilis McGovern, President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) signed an agreement signifying RCSI's joining of the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) on 7th January 2011.

EVI supports the development of effective, accessible and affordable vaccines for diseases of poverty.  EVI aims to harness European expertise in vaccine development to bring novel vaccines to low-income populations.

EVI is legally constituted as a European Economic Interest Group and other members include Stockholm University, Heidelberg University, Jenner Vaccine Foundation of University of Oxford, BPRC and the Netherlands Vaccine Institute.  EVI is generously funded by Irish Aid to develop new pro-poor vaccines in partnership with industry.  As a medical research organisation EVI takes promising ideas from the benches of scientists and help the scientists develop them through to clinical trials. Trials of several new malaria vaccines have been supported to date.

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Pictured (l-r) are Dr Odile Leroy, Executive Director, EVI; Professor Eilis McGovern, President, RCSI.

Dr Terry McWade, Deputy CEO and Acting Director of RCSI Research Institute, will represent RCSI on the board which governs EVI.  Professor Sam McConkey, Head of Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine is a member of EVI's Scientific Advisory Committee and was Chairperson in the past and its predecessor organisation European Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EMVI) since 2007 and was a member of the board of EMVI.

"Today's signing puts RCSI in the limelight of EU research leadership in the area of vaccine development. The agreement will have many benefits for RCSI including providing opportunities to participate in vaccine development partnerships and access to a network of research partners in several EU countries," Professor McConkey commented.

RCSI will now represent Ireland in the development of the strategy and decision-making process for EVI.

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Pictured (l-r) are (back row) Dr Terry McWade, Deputy Chief Executive, RCSI; Nathalie Imbault, Head of External Affairs, EVI; Professor Hannah McGee, Dean, RCSI; Professor Sam McConkey, Department of International Health and International Medicine, RCSI; Mr Diarmuid McLean, Senior Development Specialist, Irish Aid; (front row) Dr Odile Leroy, Executive Director, EVI; Professor Eilis McGovern, President, RCSI. 

Also present was Dr Diarmuid McLean, Senior Development Specialist with Irish Aid,  who said ‘For years, Irish Aid have been looking for the connection between the brilliant Irish scientists and the product -development partnerships that we are funding, so today was a significant milestone towards this goal.'

‘This is the natural development of 7 years of strong collaboration with Irish scientists and Irish Aid.  EVI is now entering a new phase, I call it the ‘age of wisdom', where the partnerships will be formally constituted' said Dr. Odile Leroy, Executive Director of EVI.

Among those present at the signing of the agreement between RCSI and EVI were Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of Medical Faculty of RCSI, Ms Louise Loughran, Associate Director of Communications and Events, RCSI; and Miss Nathalie Imbault, Quality Assurance and External Relations Manager of EVI.