Kirby Institute Seminar Series - 12th September 2014

Professor Kimberly Page
Event type: 
Event date: 
Friday, 12 September 2014 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Kirby Institute, Level 6 Seminar Room, Wallace Wurth Building, UNSW

Contact for inquiries: 
02 9385 0900
Booking deadline: 

Kirby Institute is pleased to present:

Professor Kimberly Page - "Testing a prophylactic HCV vaccine: the needs and realities of a clinical trial in injecting drug users."

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) virus epidemic is ongoing in the U.S. and globally. Incidence rates remain high, especially in young adult injection drug users. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Viral Hepatitis Action Plan 2011 prioritizes the development of a vaccine that prevents new HCV infections. This paper discusses: (1) the development of a prophylactic HCV vaccine, including protective responses that are associated with protection; (2) key reasons why a vaccine is needed to curb and eliminate HCV infection; (3) the design of a current Phase I/II vaccine trial assessing immunogenicity and efficacy of a preventive vaccine candidate, and; (4) real world challenges in the implementation of that trial which is being conducted in active injecting drug users.  Testing HCV vaccines in injecting drug users is essential as this is the population most affected by HCV globally, and who currently has the highest incidence and prevalence of HCV.  Both advocacy and resources are needed to continue this essential scientific agenda, which has high potential to impact burden of disease worldwide.

Biography :
Dr. Kimberly Page is an infectious disease epidemiologist with experience in prospective cohort studies, clinical trials and implementation science.  She is a Professor and Chief of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Preventive Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences and Center.  Prior to this new position, she was at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, where launched her career in academic medical and public health research. Dr. Page’s research has been  focused on HIV and viral hepatitis prevention in underserved and vulnerable populations, including young adult people who inject drugs, and women engaged in transactional sex.  She likes to say that her ‘laboratory’ is in the community.  She embraces the challenges of working with hard-to-reach populations with her work in the U.S. and internationally.  In addition to leading hepatitis C prevention research in San Francisco, including the country’s first trial testing a prophylactic HCV vaccine, she has a large implementation science HIV prevention project in Cambodia, where she has worked since 2000. She collaborates with leading researchers in the U.S and other countries to better understand and deliver global health knowledge. She is very excited about launching a new study of HCV and integrated treatment and prevention in young injectors in rural New Mexico.