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H1N1 Swine Flu: the 2010 Perspective


for Members

H1N1 Swine Flu: the 2010 Perspective

Monday, May 24, 2010

The New York Academy of Sciences

On May 24th, 2010, The New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) is hosting a timely landmark afternoon symposium re-examining the 2009 swine influenza (H1N1) outbreak, and providing a 2010 update. Influenza viruses continue to pose a major global public health problem. Understanding the pathogenicity and transmission of these viruses is of utmost importance in order to develop improved methods of prevention and control. This symposium will revisit the 2009 outbreak and examine strategies against future outbreaks, with presentations on virulence, transmission, the New York City experience, vaccine development and the public health implications of a worldwide pandemic. A roundtable discussion featuring all speakers will reflect on the successes and problems during the 2009 outbreak, whether this can be considered a rehearsal for more virulent outbreaks, and updated strategies to confront new pandemics.

This program will also be broadcast as a live webinar, providing an opportunity for non-local delegates to participate in this exciting and timely discussion.

Networking reception to follow.

Presented by

This event is part of the Dr. Paul Janssen Memorial Series at the New York Academy of Sciences.

This meeting is part of our Translational Medicine Initiative, sponsored by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.

Grant Support

This program is supported by an educational grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc.

For a complete list of sponsors, please click the Sponsorship tab.


Monday, May 24, 2010

12:30 PM


1:00 PM

Doris Bucher, New York Medical College

1:15 PM

Transmission and Pathogenesis of H1N1 Influenza Viruses in Ferrets
Terrence M. Tumpey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1:45 PM

Transmission of the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Virus
Anice Lowen, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

2:15 PM

Pathology Findings of Fatal 2009 Influenza A/H1N1 Viral Infections in New York City
James Gill, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

2:45 PM

Coffee Break

3:15 PM

CDC Pandemic Response: Testing Preparedness
Michael W. Shaw, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

3:45 PM

The 2009 H1N1 Pandemic — An Industry Perspective
James Matthews, Sanofi Pasteur

4:15 PM

Influenza Virus-Like Particle (VLP) as Effective and Economical Human and Animal Vaccines
Jose M. Galarza, TechnoVax, Inc.

4:45 PM

Panel Discussion (all speakers)

Moderated by Philip R. Dormitzer, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics

5:30 PM

Networking Reception



Doris Bucher

New York Medical College

Dr Doris Bucher is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology at New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. Dr Bucher has dedicated most of her research career to work on influenza viruses and influenza vaccine development. Her laboratory at New York Medical College (NYMC) is one of only three laboratories worldwide which produce high growth reassortant ‘seed’ viruses for the influenza vaccine. For the past seven years (including 2010–2011), the NYMC H3N2 reassortants have been used either exclusively or for the bulk of world production of 400–450 million doses of influenza vaccine (inactivated). Shortly after identification of 2009 H1N1 (swine influenza) April, 21, 2009, by the CDC her laboratory was provided with the 2009 H1N1 isolate. Her laboratory group developed a reassortant virus ‘seed’ virus for the vaccine in about three weeks. This reassortant, NYMC X-179A, was used worldwide by manufacturers to produce most of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine (inactivated, egg based). Several weeks later her laboratory produced a second generation reassortant, NYMC X-181, with even better growth properties and many flu manufacturers continued production of swine flu vaccine with this reassortant. Flu vaccine manufacturers are now in full production for the 2010–2011 flu season. The vaccine formulation will include the 2009 H1N1 (NYMC X-179A or NYMC X-181), an H3N2 (‘Perth-like’ reassortant, NYMC X-187) and type B (B/Brisbane/60/2008 or the ‘Brisbane-like’ NYMC BX-35). The Bucher lab is supported by a consortium of the major (and several minor) influenza vaccine manufacturers through their organization, IFPMA (International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations), Influenza Vaccine Supply International Task Force, based in Geneva.

Jennifer Henry

The New York Academy of Sciences


Jose M. Galarza

TechnoVax, Inc.

Dr. Galarza is CEO and founder of TechnoVax, Inc. a biotechnology company focusing on vaccine research and development. He has more than 28 years of scientific experience in the field of virology, molecular biology and vaccine development and is currently an adjunct Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the New York Medical College. Before founding TechnoVax, he was Principal Scientist and leader of the influenza subunit vaccine development program in the Vaccine Division of Wyeth, in Pearl River, New York. Dr. Galarza is the inventor of the influenza virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine technology, a platform with great potential for the creation and development of vaccines for a variety of targets. Prior to joining Wyeth, Dr. Galarza held research positions in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA and in the Department of Cellular, Viral and Molecular Biology, at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a member of numerous professional associations and serves as scientific reviewer, emphasis vaccines, for the Center of Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health (NIH). He holds a DVM and a doctorate in Microbiology from the University of La Plata, La Plata, Argentina.

James Gill

Office of Chief Medical Examiner

Dr. James Gill is a forensic pathologist and the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner of the Bronx Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York. His office investigates approximately 1,800 deaths per year and performs 1,100 autopsies. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Biology from M.I.T., he earned his medical degree from the University of Connecticut. He did his pathology training at Yale and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and is board certified in anatomic and forensic pathology. He is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Forensic Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and has faculty appointments in the Departments of Pathology at the Yale School of Medicine and Albert Einstein School of Medicine.

Anice Lowen

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Dr. Lowen began her university studies at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), where she obtained her bachelor of science degree in the field of biochemistry. She then moved to the Institute of Virology in Glasgow, Scotland to join the laboratory of Dr. Richard Elliott. Dr. Lowen’s work as a PhD student in the Elliott lab centered on reverse genetics of the tri-segmented, negative strand RNA virus, Bunyamwera virus. For her post-doctoral studies, Dr. Lowen moved to Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York City) to work on influenza virus in the group of Dr. Peter Palese. During her post-doctoral studies, she developed the guinea pig as a model host for influenza virus transmission and then applied this system to identify viral, host and environmental factors which impact viral spread. One important finding which stemmed from this work was the observation that aerosol transmission of influenza viruses is dependent on temperature and humidity, suggesting that these climatic factors could contribute to the seasonal epidemiology of influenza. Since July 2009, Dr. Lowen has continued her research on influenza virus transmission as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

James Matthews

Sanofi Pasteur

Dr. James Matthews is Vice President for Health and Science Policy at Sanofi Pasteur. Dr. Matthews received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania . After completing his Fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Matthews was a Senior Research Investigator at Bristol-Myers Squibb where his research focused on the identification of inhibitors of herpes and influenza viruses. Since joining Sanofi Pasteur, Dr. Matthews has been the Principal Scientist for a number of influenza vaccine research and development projects and a Director for External Research. Currently based in Washington DC, Dr. Matthews is responsible for coordinating all aspects of US Government Non-commercial Contracts.

Michael W. Shaw

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Michael Shaw received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1980 before doing postdoctoral research in the Virology Laboratory at the Rockefeller University in New York City. He has received a faculty position in Virology at the Rockefeller University and later worked in the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1993. He has worked with influenza viruses for more than 30 years with primary interests in the genetics and evolution of human and animal influenza strains. He currently serves as the Associate Director for Laboratory Science in the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease at CDC in Atlanta. Most recently he was in charge of the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic laboratory activities at CDC overseeing and coordinating domestic and international laboratory responses.

Terrence M. Tumpey

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Terrence M. Tumpey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and his Ph.D. in Microbiology/Immunology from the University Of South Alabama School Of Medicine in Mobile, Alabama. He was a recipient of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Postdoctoral Fellowship award and conducted his postdoctoral training at the Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He later served the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a microbiologist at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia. Since 2003, Dr. Tumpey has been with the CDC and is currently a Microbiologist and Team Leader of Pathogenesis, within the Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch. His research on pathogenesis and immunity during the last 21 years is documented in 105 total peer-reviewed publications and in 2006 he was honored with the Lancet Award for the top scientific paper of 2005 presented by Lancet. He also received the 2006 and 2008 Shepard Award from the CDC for Outstanding Research Paper. Dr. Tumpey was appointed to the Editorial board of the Journal of Virology in 2006 and in 2007 was inducted into the University of Minnesota, Duluth Academy of Science and Engineering.

Panel Discussion Chair

Philip R. Dormitzer

Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics

Philip R. Dormitzer, M.D., Ph.D., is Head of the Viral Advanced Programs Global Project Team and a Senior Project Leader for Viral Vaccine Research at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a practicing physician, who is board certified in Internal Medicine. After studying anthropology at Harvard College and carrying out a field study of the Efe Pygmies in the Ituri Forest of the present-day Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr. Dormitzer completed his M.D. and Ph.D. at Stanford University. His graduate research in the laboratory of Dr. Harry Greenberg focused on rotavirus antigenic structure. Dr. Dormitzer completed house-staff training in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in the Harvard Combined Infectious Diseases Training Program. He conducted his fellowship research in the Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, led by Dr. Stephen Harrison. As an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Dormitzer led a structural virology laboratory. The Dormitzer group and its collaborators determined the structures of the rotavirus neutralization antigens by NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and near atomic resolution electron cryomicroscopy. Dr. Dormitzer is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Virology and coauthor of numerous articles in such publications as Nature, Science, PNAS, the EMBO Journal, the Journal of Virology, and the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. His writing for medical texts includes the chapters on rotaviruses for Mandell’s Principles and Practices of Infectious Diseases, 6th and 7th editions. Since joining NV&D in 2007, Dr. Dormitzer has lead research on virus-like-particle vaccines and vaccines against respiratory viruses, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. He led the research component of the response to the H1N1 swine-origin influenza pandemic at NV&D, which rapidly developed and distributed three licensed pandemic influenza vaccines, including a cell-culture based vaccine. He is now responsible for advancing new viral vaccine candidates from research through clinical development, industrialization, and licensure.


For sponsorship opportunities please contact Cristine Barreto at or 212.298.8652.

Presented by

This event is part of the Dr. Paul Janssen Memorial Series at the New York Academy of Sciences.

This meeting is part of our Translational Medicine Initiative, sponsored by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.

Grant Support

This program is supported by an educational grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc.

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Transmission and Pathogenesis of H1N1 Influenza Viruses in Ferrets

Terrence M. Tumpey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In March 2009 an influenza A H1N1 virus variant was introduced into the human population and continues to cause illness in regions of the world. We have developed a comparative ferret model that parallels the efficient transmission of seasonal influenza viruses and the poor transmission of avian H1N1 influenza viruses in humans. The ferret model provides both contact and respiratory droplet transmission evaluation of influenza viruses. Selected 2009 H1N1 isolates were assessed for their ability to cause disease in ferrets, and compared with a contemporary seasonal H1N1 virus for their ability to transmit by respiratory droplets to naïve ferrets. In contrast to seasonal influenza H1N1 virus, 2009 H1N1 viruses caused increased morbidity, replicated to higher titers in lung tissue and were recovered from the intestinal tract of intranasally inoculated ferrets. The 2009 H1N1 viruses exhibited less efficient respiratory droplet transmission in ferrets in comparison to the high-transmissible phenotype of a seasonal H1N1 virus. These results along with pathogenesis and transmission data from other H1N1 viruses will be presented and may provide further insight into the current H1N1 pandemic virus.

Transmission of the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Virus

Anice Lowen, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Novel, swine origin influenza viruses of the H1N1 subtype were first detected in humans in April 2009; by the 11th of June, human-to-human transmission had become so widespread that the WHO labelled the outbreak a full-fledged pandemic. Estimates of the basic reproduction number (R0) based on the first wave of transmission suggest that the 2009 pandemic strain spreads with comparable or slightly greater efficiency among humans than seasonal influenza viruses. Data from animal models support this finding: the 2009 H1N1 strains transmit readily among ferrets and guinea pigs. The transmission phenotype of 2009 H1N1 influenza viruses is remarkable when one considers the behaviour of diverse swine isolates in human and guinea pig hosts. Although both species are susceptible to infection with swine influenza viruses of various lineages, transmission to contacts is infrequent. Thus, it appears that the unique constellation of gene segments comprising the 2009 H1N1 viral genome and/or adaptive changes that differentiate those gene segments from their swine precursors facilitate efficient human-to-human spread. In addition to these viral factors, host and environmental factors have had a clear impact on pandemic viral transmission. The observed inverse correlation between attack rate and age, for example, is most likely due to the exposure history of hosts in different age groups. Indeed, guinea pigs with prior exposure to seasonal influenza show lower rates of transmission, while vaccination of mice with classical H1N1 influenza viruses protects against disease upon challenge with the pandemic strain. The emergence of the swine-origin strain during the spring in the Northern Hemisphere was also important in shaping its epidemiology: although transmission continued throughout the summer, peak influenza activity occurred only later, during the autumn and winter months. In the guinea pig model, we have found that aerosol transmission of a 2009 pandemic strain shows a very similar dependence on humidity and temperature as a seasonal H3N2 influenza virus suggesting that, in the coming years, novel H1N1 epidemics will adopt winter-time seasonality.

Pathology Findings of Fatal 2009 Influenza A/H1N1 Viral Infections in New York City

James Gill, Office of Chief Medical Examiner

We reviewed medical records, autopsy reports, microbiologic studies, and microscopic slides of 34 people who died between May 15 and July 9, 2009. The majority of the 34 decedents (62%) were between 25-49 years of age (median 41.5 years). Tracheitis, bronchiolitis, and diffuse alveolar damage were noted in most cases. Influenza viral antigen was observed most commonly in the epithelium of the tracheobronchial tree, but also in alveolar epithelial cells and macrophages. Most were RT-PCR positive for influenza. Bacterial pneumonia was detected in 55%. Underlying medical conditions including cardiorespiratory diseases and immunosuppression were in 91% of deaths. Obesity (BMI >30) was noted in 72% of adults and adolescents. The pulmonary pathological findings in fatal disease caused by the novel pandemic influenza virus are similar to findings identified in past pandemics. Superimposed bacterial infections of the respiratory tract were common. Pre-existing obesity, cardiorespiratory diseases, and other co-morbidities also were prominent findings among the decedents.

CDC Pandemic Response: Testing Preparedness

Michael W. Shaw, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As the US Government primary front-line responder to infectious disease outbreaks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has for many years conducted extensive pandemic response exercises in preparation for the inevitable appearance of a new, rapidly spreading influenza pandemic strain. These preparedness assumptions were put to the test over the past year as the real thing occurred and unanticipated developments required real-time reassessment and modification of response strategies. From the initial identification of the new pandemic strain by CDC in the Spring of 2009 to the roll-out of the vaccination campaign the following Fall, CDC was intimately involved in surveillance, clinical management, and infection prevention and has served as the primary source of information for the public and scientific communities here and abroad. Systems put in place prior to the pandemic proved to be invaluable as severe strains were placed on the public health system of the US. Data and viruses were shared rapidly and openly, new diagnostic assays were deployed in record time, and a new vaccine was developed, tested, and dispensed all with the cooperation of numerous government and private agencies and institutes. A history of events will be presented illustrating the rapidly evolving situation and the CDC role in this first influenza pandemic of the Twenty-First Century.

The 2009 H1N1 Pandemic - An Industry Perspective

James Matthews, Sanofi Pasteur

For much of the past five years, the WHO, Governments and Industry have focused on plans to contain the next pandemic that many thought would evolve from one of the avian H5N1 viruses that have now become endemic in most of Southeast Asia. Many of the planning scenarios predicted an epicenter in Southeast Asia with high case-fatality ratios and with some effort of early containment to slow the spread of the pandemic by employing limitations of movement, antivirals and stockpiled H5N1 vaccines. Based on clinical experience with H5N1 vaccines from the past decade, it was assumed the pandemic vaccine would likely be adjuvanted and probably require the administration of two doses, in order to provide full protection. In April 2009, the public health community was somewhat surprised, therefore, by the appearance of a novel H1N1 virus with pandemic potential, not in Southeast Asia but in North America. In this presentation, I will review the chronology of events from the time that the 2009 H1N1 virus was first identified as a pandemic threat, focusing on activities related to the development and distribution of inactivated H1N1 vaccines. The presentation will attempt to highlight how the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and the H1N1 vaccine was a departure from the avian H5N1 planning scenarios and some of the lessons we might learn in anticipation of the next pandemic.

Influenza Virus-Like Particle (VLP) as Effective and Economical Human and Animal Vaccines

Jose M. Galarza, TechnoVax, Inc.

Influenza virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines have been demonstrated to be highly immunogenic and efficacious in protecting against diverse strains of influenza virus. The flu VLP vaccines are created by the simultaneous expression of four influenza proteins, M1, M2, HA and NA which self assemble at the plasma membrane of the producing cell and are released from the cell surface as virus-like particles. VLPs are morphologically and biochemically similar to wild type virus; but do not carry virus genetic material, making these particles unable to replicate or cause infection. Electron microscopic examination of purified VLPs has shown that these structures appear identical in conformation and distribution of surface components to the wild type influenza virus. In addition, VLPs are functional in agglutinating red blood cells which demonstrates their ability to bind the sialic acid containing viral receptor. Because of the repetitive array and native conformation of the surface antigens, VLP vaccines are highly immunogenic when administered via parenteral (im, sc, id) or local mucosal routes. Production of VLP vaccines can be attained using different protein expression systems, e.g. baculovirus, continuous cell lines, and other vector systems. Given the time constraints of preparing for epidemic and pandemic pathogens as well as the large number of doses of vaccine required world wide, it is imperative that we create a better and faster strategy for vaccine creation and production. We have developed not only new production methods to increase capacity and reduce time but also a novel strategy for creating polyvalent VLP vaccines. This new method allows for the generation of particles that display on their surfaces two or more antigenically distinct influenza hemagglutinin (HA) molecules, e.g. H5 and H1. This approach would reduce manufacturing steps while increasing vaccine coverage. Immuno-electromicroscopy of polyvalent VLP have shown that both HA molecules are present on the surface of the same VLP. The influenza VLP technology provides a versatile platform not only to create and develop monovalent or polyvalent influenza vaccines, but also for large scale manufacture in cell systems which overcomes most of the limitations of the current egg-based production method. This VLP platform offers a viable new method for the production of highly immunogenic and efficacious influenza vaccines in a shorter time, larger scale and more competitive cost to attend to the human and animal influenza vaccine demands.

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