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2024 Vaccine Day at Johns Hopkins

Each year the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative (JHVI) hosts Vaccine Day to highlight the advancements in vaccine research by inviting a distinguished scientist to deliver a keynote address on the current status of topics ranging from dengue, rotavirus, COVID-19, measles, and more.

The inaugural Vaccine Day held in 2008 officially launched the JHVI, and 14 Vaccine Day events have been hosted since. Led by Professor Ruth Karron, Vaccine Day works to promote and foster current vaccine research at the Bloomberg School. 

This year, Vaccine Day featured two keynote speakers. First Gabriela Paz-Bailey, MD, PhD, MSc, DTM&H, the Chief of the Dengue Branch in the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases from the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) at the CDC, discussed the basics of dengue transmission and pathogenesis, factors contributing to the increasing global burden of disease from dengue, current outbreak trends, and the current testing and treatments for dengue infections. 

Anna Durbin, MD, a professor and the Director of the Center for Immunization Research in the Department of International Health shared the history of dengue vaccine research, an overview of currently available dengue vaccines, her ongoing research developing new vaccines, and the challenges around vaccine implementation and surveillance.

A panel discussion followed with the keynote speakers and two additional vaccine experts, Rupali Limaye, PhD ’12, MPH, MA, an associate professor in the GDEC Program in the Department of International Health and 2nd year MSPH student Morghan Park. During the panel, attendees had the opportunities to ask questions about dengue vaccine research and implementation, issues around vaccine hesitancy, and the importance of improving communication and trust around vaccines within communities.

The event also hosts a poster session that showcases vaccine-related research by students and faculty at the Bloomberg School. Each year this session brings about a rich forum of discussions and knowledge sharing around ongoing research and awards the top 3 student poster presentations. This year over 40 posters were displayed by faculty, staff, and students. The 2024 poster winners are:

1st Place: Binh Nguyen, Zhengrong Li and Samandika Saparamadu – “To Subsidize or Not to Subsidize: The Cost-Effectiveness of RSV Vaccination Among Infants in the U.S.”

2nd Place: Molly Sauer and Prachi Singh – “Characterizing Potential Acceptability of Maternal RSV Vaccination in Kenya: A Latent Class Analysis Approach”

3rd Place: Laura St Clair – “mTOR Activation is associated with greater protective antibody responses following Influenza Vaccination in Young Adult Female compared to Male Mice”


Finally, the new cohort of PAVE Scholars was announced during the event. PAVE, Program in Applied Vaccine Experiences, supports vaccine-focused internships for Johns Hopkins students at international organizations that hold critical roles in global vaccine policy and delivery. Students spend 12 to 16 weeks working full time at one of the partner organizations, gaining valuable experience in vaccine research, policy, and programs of global importance. The outstanding PAVE Scholars 2024 cohort is:

Kedest Mathewos (PhD, Health Systems): Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Rithika Rajesh (MSPH, GDEC): Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Stella Dlamini (MSPH, GDEC): WHO, Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Georgia Artzberger (MSPH, GDEC): WHO, Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Wally Wennerberg (MSPH, GDEC): UNICEF

Haley Challgren (MSPH, GDEC): PAHO


Watch the recorded keynote addresses and panel session.