U of G Prof Among World’s Top Vaccine “Influencers”

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Chemistry professor Mario Monteiro has been named one of the most influential people in the development of vaccines by a vaccine industry organization based in the United Kingdom. He is one of 50 people selected by an international poll conducted online by vaccinenation.org in collaboration with the World Vaccine Congress Europe.

Monteiro is the only academic researcher at a Canadian university in the top 50 listing.

He studies polysaccharides, or complex sugars, on bacterial surfaces and is one of the world’s few researchers working on such sugar-based vaccines.

His vaccine to protect against Campylobacter jejuni – one of the leading bacterial causes of food-borne illness in the world – was approved for human clinical trials by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May and Phase 1 human trials have begun. It’s the first U of G technology to reach this testing phase.

He also works on carbohydrate-based vaccines for Clostridium difficile, and collaborated on a carbohydrate-based vaccine against Clostridium bolteae, a gut bug common in autistic children.

The list of 50 vaccine “influencers” also includes Microsoft founder Bill Gates; Shari Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India; Robin Robinson, director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Bruce Aylward, who is directing the Ebola response in West Africa for the World Health Organization.