Vana Spoulou

BIODr Vana Spoulou is Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Athens University Medical School and Consultant Paediatric Infectious Diseases at “Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital She has established and is the head of the Immunobiology and Vaccinology Research Lab (ΙVRL) at “Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital focusing on different aspects of vaccine research. Prof Spoulou obtained her MPhil in Immunobiology from UCL, London, UK and her PhD from Athens University Medical School. In addition to her clinical duties as infectious Diseases Consultant, she is responsible for treatment of all Greek ΗΙV infected children and she has established a vaccine outpatient clinic for high risk patients. Her research activity is focused on the development of novel methods for determination of protective vaccine-induced immunity in normal and high-risk groups including measurement of antibody avidity, specificity, Ig isotypes, opsonophagocytic and  bactericidal antibody activity etc. An important focus of her research is the investigation of conjugate vaccine-induced B cell immunological memory by a number of novel methods which have been applied in the investigation of vaccine–induced protective immunity in children with HIV, children with malignancies, bone marrow transplants and patients with Congenital Haemoglobulinopathies  etc. Her research is supported by many national and  European research grants. An important part of her educational activities is the creation of the website  which has established an online daily communication with Greek pediatricians aiming to strengthen their knowledge and confidence in vaccines. She is member of many scientific societies including  the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection (ECCMID). She is also member of the rotavirus and varicella vaccine Experts groups. Since 2015 she is member of the Education Committee of ESPID and codirector of "Wiser Immunizer online course» the online course developed by ESPID and  WHO. She is author of more that 100 peer-reviewed articles. She is co-author of the European Vaccines and Vaccination Textbook.

Immune response to SARS-Cov2 and vaccine development


The current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) poses a threat to global health owing to its high rate of spread and severe forms of respiratory infection. Since SARS-CoV-2 hit China in December 2019, intensive efforts have been made to develop a vaccine based on the experience of the previous pandemic strains SARS and MERS. Strategies for vaccine development include complete vaccines against viruses, subunits, and nucleic acids. Most vaccines have been developed to contain the whole glycoprotein S antigen, or part of it that binds to the ACE2 receptor through which the virus enters the epithelial cells  of respiratory epithelium. Antivirals and nucleic acid platforms are used as antigen delivery systems. Despite the initial encouraging results of the first human trials, it is necessaryfor the novel vaccines to prove their safety and effectiveness for a reasonable period of time

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by Vana Spoulou

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