NEW YORK – APRIL 1, 2020 – IAVI, a nonprofit scientific research organization dedicated to addressing urgent, unmet global health challenges, is pleased to announce the appointment of W. Ripley (“Rip”) Ballou, M.D., as ADVANCE Program Lead and Principal Investigator. This groundbreaking global initiative to accelerate the development of vaccines and new technologies to combat the AIDS epidemic in partnership with Africa is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Despite advances in treatment and prevention, nearly 1.7 million people contract HIV every year, which is why IAVI is committed to working with a wide range of partners to develop a safe, effective HIV vaccine for global use. In his new role, Dr. Ballou will drive HIV vaccine and prevention efforts while leading an excellent and experienced multi-disciplinary team with a proven track record of conducting gold-standard vaccine trials and conducting large epidemiology studies that have provided rich data and samples to the field.
“We are delighted that Dr. Ballou is joining the phenomenal team at IAVI. He brings a wealth of international vaccine development experience, as well as a deep understanding of how to spur scientific innovation across a global organization and how to strengthen research capacity in low-income countries to address global health threats,” said Mark Feinberg, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of IAVI. “This is a time of extraordinary advances in HIV vaccine research and development, and Dr. Ballou is well equipped to lead the ADVANCE team to develop new ways to help stop the spread of HIV.”
Dr. Ballou is an expert in vaccine development and has worked in this field for more than 30 years. He comes to IAVI from his position as Vice President and Head at GSK Global Vaccines U.S. R&D Center in Rockville, Maryland. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Head, Clinical Research and Translational Science, Vaccine Discovery and Development at GSK Vaccines in Rixensart, Belgium. Previously, he served as Deputy Director for Vaccines, Infectious Diseases Development, Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, he began his work on vaccines at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where he led the team that with GSK co-developed RTS,S, the world’s most advanced malaria vaccine.
Dr. Ballou received his M.D. from Emory University School of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship in infectious diseases at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He has numerous publications in the field of vaccine development and infectious diseases and served as a board member for the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation.