Dr Marie-Paule Kieny
Dr Marie-Paule KIENY is the Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Initiative for Vaccine Research, a position she has held since 2001. Based at WHO headquarters in Geneva, the disease portfolio of the Initiative includes tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, meningitidis, respiratory diseases, diarrhoeal diseases, Japanese encephalitis, cervical cancer and measles. The Initiative for Vaccine Research conducts and coordinates activities related to product research and development and implementation research for vaccines and delivery devices.
Formerly, Dr Kieny was Scientific Consultant at the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (2001); whose focus is neglected infectious diseases that disproportionately affect poor and marginalized populations. She served as Director of Research and Head of the Hepatitis C Virus Molecular Virology Group at the Institut de Virologie, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) in Strasbourg (1999-2000); and from 1983 to 1999, she served in various capacities, including Director of Research and Development, at TRANSGENE S.A. also in Strasbourg.
Dr Kieny's research career began with the development of a recombinant rabies vaccine which is administered orally in bait to wild animals and has allowed the almost complete eradication of rabies in vaccinated territories both in Europe and North America. She has worked on the design of several original AIDS vaccine candidates in collaboration with the Pasteur Institute. She conducted research on cancer immuno-gene therapy targeting mainly breast and cervical cancers with encouraging results, in addition to the design of candidate recombinant hepatitis C virus vaccine candidates.
Dr Kieny has taught molecular virology, vaccinology and genetic engineering and directed the research of doctoral candidates and undergraduates.
She received her PhD in microbiology from the University of Montpellier, France in 1980. From the same university she holds a Diplôme d'Études Universitaires Générales (DEUG) in Economics (1977). In addition, she has a Diplôme d’Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches from the University of Strasbourg, France (1995).
Dr Kieny has received several prizes and distinctions: Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, au titre du Ministère de la Recherche (2000); Prix Génération 2000-Impact Médecin (1994); and Prix de l'Innovation Rhône-Poulenc (1991). She has served on a number of expert committees on vaccine discovery, AIDS and cancer research.