September 9, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – EpiVax CEO and University of Rhode Island professor Annie De Groot M.D. has been named one of the most influential people in the vaccine industry by the national vaccine industry organization VaccineNation. Their list of 50 vaccine “influencers” includes Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Bruce Aylward MD, who is currently directing the Ebola response in West Africa for the World Heath Organization. Those selected were nominated and voted on in an international poll conducted by VaccineNation, a vaccine industry organization.
De Groot is co-founder, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer of Providence-based biotechnology company EpiVax Inc. She joined the URI faculty from Brown University in 2008 and has received more than $27 million in federal funding for her research, which has received national and international recognition for her innovative “genome–to–vaccine” approach. De Groot is also the director of the URI Institute for Immunology and Informatics (www.immunome.org) at the URI Providence campus, where she and other faculty apply cutting-edge bioinformatics tools to accelerate the development of vaccines for infectious diseases such as H7N9 influenza, HIV and tuberculosis. The iCubed is also is working to develop vaccines for tropical diseases identified as “neglected” by the research community and is working on a vaccine for filariasis with Smith College professor Steve Williams as well as on vaccine for leishmania, malaria, and Dengue (with URI iCubed faculty member Alan Rothman).
De Groot attributes her success to the hard work of her team members, notably EpiVax Director of Vaccines Lenny Moise Ph.D (Associate Professor, Research), and Cumberland resident and EpiVax co-founder and CIO William D. Martin. She stated: “Visionaries might be able to see beyond the horizon, but it takes a crew of capable individuals like Bill, Lenny, and the other scientists at the iCubed and EpiVax to sail the ship”.
De Groot has received a number of local and national accolades. In 2013, she received the Smith Medal, an award given to outstanding alumnae of Smith College. She is one of the medical providers, and founders of Clinica Esperanza / Hope Clinic in Providence where she also serves as volunteer Medical Director.
The complete list of the most influential people in the vaccine industry can be found by visiting http://www.vaccinenation.org/2014/09/03/influential-people-vaccines-2014.
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