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Nobel Laureates

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January 15, 2002
MBL Trustee Lends Expert Advice to Anthrax, AIDS, Pneumonia Vaccine Development Programs

Marine Biological Laboratory Trustee Dr. Porter W. Anderson, Jr. of Key Largo, Florida, is lending his expertise in microbiology to help three separate research programs develop vaccines to combat anthrax, AIDS, and pneumococcal pneumonia.

Anderson, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Rochester Medical Center, developed an important vaccine to prevent bacterial meningitis in young children. The vaccine was awarded FDA approval and introduced into clinical practice in 1990. In 1996, Anderson was a co-recipient of the prestigious Lasker Award and also the Pasteur Award for his work on developing the vaccine.

As the threat of anthrax gripped the nation this fall, Anderson sat on a panel of vaccine study experts to advise the Center for Disease Control's (CDC's) Anthrax Vaccine Program. Developed to address the safety and efficacy of the U.S. FDA-licensed anthrax vaccine, the program is looking to the experts for advice on the design of their planned clinical trials on primate subjects. In particular, the CDC is seeking guidance on how the results from these animal studies can be correlated with results from human clinical trials.

In addition to advising the CDC, Anderson also participated in the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's AIDS Vaccine Immunology Workshop in October. Anderson moderated a session on vaccine-induced responses to pathogens in infants in which he and his colleagues looked at what is known from other childhood vaccines to better understand development and testing of potential HIV vaccines in infants and children.

Most recently, Anderson and his colleagues presented research on Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccines to a joint meeting of the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Children's Vaccine Program.

Anderson has been a member of the MBL Corporation since 1991 and is an alumnus of the MBL's Microbiology course. In the summers, he has conducted research on sulfur-eating bacteria as a guest investigator with MBL Senior Scientist, Dr. Norman Wainwright and Alice Child. Born in Mississippi, Anderson received a B.A. from Emory University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He was appointed to the MBL's Board of Trustees in 1996 and is currently serving his second term.