Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Dr. Heppner’s 23 year Army career culminated as Chief Operating Officer (2008-2011) of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the Defense Department’s 2,000 person biomedical institute with operations in Africa, Asia and Europe.From 1999-2008, as Chief of Immunology, and then as Director of the Division of Malaria Vaccine Development, he led the Army’s international malaria vaccine program. In partnership with Glaxo SmithKline, he spearheaded development of the RTS,S/AS malaria vaccine, which later gained Gates Foundation sponsorship, and provisional EMA/WHO approval. His program developed novel prime-boost vaccine strategies, trialed the first genetically attenuated live sporozoite vaccine, and manufactured and conducted the first safety, immunogenicity and efficacy trials of pre-erythrocytic and blood stage vaccines MSP-1/AS, AMA-1/AS and LSA-1/AS. In 2003, he deployed during Operations Iraqi Freedom & Enduring Freedom as part of a Special Medical Augmentation Response Team to establish medical countermeasures to biowarfare threats at military treatment facilities. From 1993-1997, he led malaria vaccine, drug and diagnostic research as Assistant Chief, then Chief, Department of Immunology and Medicine at the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences in Bangkok, Thailand.
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