Rino Rappuoli, Ph.D., is chief scientist and head of external R&D at GSK Vaccines, based in Siena, Italy. He earned his Ph.D. in biological sciences at the University of Siena, Italy, and has served as visiting scientist at Rockefeller University in New York and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Prior to his present position, he was head of R&D at Sclavo, head of vaccine research and chief scientific officer at Chiron Corp., and global head of R&D at Novartis Vaccines.
His team developed CRM197 used in Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccines; an acellular vaccine against pertussis containing a genetically detoxified pertussis toxin; the first conjugate vaccines against meningococcus; the MF59 adjuvant for influenza; and the genome-derived vaccine against meningococcal serogroup B (MenB).
Rappuoli is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the European Molecular Biology Organization. His awards include: Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (1991), the Gold Medal by the Italian president (2005) and the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal (2009). In 2013, he was nominated third most influential person worldwide in the field of vaccines (Terrapin). In 2015, he was awarded Fellowship of Imperial College Faculty of Medicine London and the Maurice Hilleman Award.
Rappuoli has introduced several novel scientific concepts such as genetic detoxification (1987), cellular microbiology (1996), reverse vaccinology (2000), and pan genome (2005). He has served on the Committee on Identifying and Prioritizing New Preventive Vaccines for Development of the Institute of Medicine.