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About PATH Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

The PATH Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access (CVIA) spans every stage of vaccine research, development, and introduction to make lifesaving vaccines widely available to communities around the globe.

Vaccines are one of the most successful, cost effective solutions available to ensure children, no matter where they’re born, not only survive, but can thrive and reach their full potential. Immunization is also essential for providing protection over the full course of a person’s life and for controlling epidemic and pandemic outbreaks. That’s why we work to accelerate the development and introduction of lifesaving vaccines around the world.

CVIA works across 19 different diseases. Our portfolio encompasses more than two dozen vaccine projects in development and use with an emphasis on the world’s leading infectious disease challenges, including COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases; malaria; polio; respiratory infections and maternal immunization; and enteric and diarrheal diseases.

But it takes a lot to move a vaccine from an idea into a safe and effective tool used to prevent disease. It’s even more challenging when the diseases disproportionately impact people in low- and middle-income parts of the world, especially women and children. CVIA builds on more than 20 years of PATH’s success in developing and introducing vaccines to improve health for those living in some of the most heavily burdened and hardest to reach places. We bring together multi-disciplinary expertise across the entire vaccine development and delivery spectrum—from early-stage research to innovative approaches for new vaccine introduction and everything in between.

Our success in vaccine innovation depends on our country-centered approach and deep engagement with multiple partners, including immunization program managers and ministries of health to provide crucial insights for ensuring resilient immunization systems; scientists and clinical researchers to develop and evaluate novel approaches to vaccines in real-world conditions; manufacturers to accelerate development and production scale up; global agencies like the World Health Organization and UNICEF; financing bodies like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and governments to support immunization implementation. We work with communities to understand their needs and priorities and commit to pricing and distribution strategies that ensure accessibility, availability, affordability, acceptability, and sustainability.

Some of CVIA’s successes include:

  • Mobilizing quickly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including supporting country vaccine readiness; COVAX and other efforts to ensure equitable access to vaccine; vaccine development and manufacturing scale-up; and vaccine clinical evaluation efforts.
  • Supporting the development, optimization, and introduction of vaccines against the world’s top two infectious killers of children under age five: pneumonia and diarrheal diseases.
  • Introducing the world’s first malaria vaccine in parts of Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi.
  • Transforming a Japanese encephalitis vaccine that had only been available in China into an internationally approved tool that has been delivered to more than 310 million people.
  • Supporting the development and introduction of MenAfriVac®, a conjugate meningitis A vaccine that has been delivered to more than 340 million people across the African meningitis belt and virtually eliminated meningitis A wherever it has been used.
  • Supporting Pakistan in vaccinating over 20 million children to protect them from typhoid.
  • Helping over 20 countries to introduce human papillomavirus vaccine.

CVIA projects are currently supported by grants from numerous funders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office; the Coalition for Epidemic and Pandemic Innovations; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Asia Development Bank; the United States Agency for International Development; and the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund.

Meet the CVIA team

  1. Dr. David Kaslow

    Vice President, Essential Medicines. Global Head, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  2. Jessica Milman

    Director, Office of Essential Medicines

  3. Michelle Unabia

    Global Human Resources Director, Essential Medicines

  4. Amanda Zehnder

    Operations and Internal Initiatives Manager, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  5. Dr. Bruce Innis

    Global Head, Respiratory Infections & Maternal Immunization, CVIA

  6. Dr. Ashley Birkett

    Global Head, Malaria, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  7. Dr. Fred Cassels

    Global Head, Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  8. Dr. John Konz

    Global Head, Polio, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  9. Dr. Debbie Atherly

    Global Head, Policy, Access, and Introduction, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  10. Dr. Kerim Chitour

    Global Head, Clinical, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  11. Dr. Margaret Wecker

    Global Head, Regulatory, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  12. Dr. Simone Blayer

    Global Head, Development (Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls), CVIA

  13. Dwayne Wilson

    Global Head, Quality, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  14. Katya Spielberg

    Global Head, Integrated Portfolio and Financial Management, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

  15. Darin Zehrung

    Program Leader, Medical Devices and Health Technologies