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Merck's John Boslego Joins PATH as Director of Vaccine Development

The international nonprofit organization PATH announced today that John Boslego, MD, will become director of its vaccine development program on February 1, 2006. Dr. Boslego's responsibilities will include accelerating development of pediatric pneumococcal vaccines, with a focus on vaccinology, vaccine development, and clinical trials. Dr. Boslego leaves his post as executive director and department head for Biologics, Clinical Research at Merck & Co, Inc.

Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, causes pneumonia and infections of the brain and blood. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 2 million people die of it each year. Most who die live in developing countries, and more than half are children younger than two. PATH will be working under Dr. Boslego's leadership to expand the range of solutions to protect against this killer disease. Seattle-based PATH has carried out programs in reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and vaccines and immunization in over 100 countries worldwide. PATH is currently working on accelerating the development and introduction of vaccines to protect against rotavirus, human papillomavirus, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and meningitis, among others.

Dr. Boslego will expand PATH's public health work to include pneumococcal vaccine development through identification of, and support for, clinical trials of a pneumococcal protein vaccine. He brings extensive experience in vaccine development, as his portfolio at Merck included clinical development of a Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine, a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine, an influenza DNA vaccine, a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, various pediatric combination vaccines, a rotavirus vaccine, and a human papillomavirus vaccine.

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