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Dr. DeVincenzo is a Practicing Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis Tennessee. He is also Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine. His research has focused on understanding the pathogenesis of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) directly in children and using this understanding to develop therapeutic and prevention strategies against this virus. He is the author of over 250 original published abstracts and papers on this subject. Dr. DeVincenzo’s research initially focused on the immunogenetics of RSV disease and the interplay between viral dynamics and RSV disease severity in infants. Subsequently, his research focus shifted to apply this knowledge of RSV dynamics to the development of novel therapeutics for RSV. His development of RNA interference-based therapeutics for RSV has shown recent success. For his groundbreaking proof of concept work applying RNA interference concepts to develop human therapeutics, Dr. DeVincenzo’s study was listed as one of the most influential papers in medicine in 2010 (American Society for Microbiology). From this work, Dr. DeVincenzo is now developing antivirals and vaccines using a variety of approaches for RSV; from conception to proof of concept clinical trials through several academic, foundation, and industry pathways. He and colleagues have now demonstrated the first evidence that treating an established RSV infection in humans can lower the viral load and result in reduced disease. He has recently extended similar proofs of human antiviral RSV-therapeutic efficacy for four other novel antiviral compounds with different mechanisms of action and is currently progressing several international RSV antiviral programs into pediatric and adult populations.
Dr. DeVincenzo received his undergraduate degree in biology from Stanford University, and then attended Vanderbilt Medical School where he became interested in pediatric infectious diseases and earned his MD degree. His internship and residency were completed at U.C.L.A Center for Health Sciences. After finishing his pediatrics training, Dr. DeVincenzo studied tropical medicine at Walter Reed and practiced general medicine in Central Africa before starting formal training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. During this time, he also completed a research fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute working with his mentor, George Siber, in developing passive antibody approaches for RSV treatment and prevention. Dr. DeVincenzo has conducted numerous clinical and translational trials in children refining the pathogenesis of RSV and defining the role of prevention and therapeutic applications of monoclonal antibodies targeting RSV in infants and the immune suppressed. He runs an active NIH-funded academic laboratory studying RSV and other respiratory viruses, and has received numerous honors for his research including honorary induction into Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society (2009), the Healthcare Heroes Award for innovation (2008), and the best advance in Therapy and Prevention of a Microbial Disease (ICAAC 2007). Dr. DeVincenzo is currently also the medical director of the University affiliated Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Virology Laboratory and the Methodist/Le Bonheur Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory. He is a practicing pediatric infectious disease specialist, lectures at the Medical School, nationally and internationally, and is involved in award winning clinical teaching of medical students, residents, and fellows.
Dr. Griffin is a neonatologist and was on the faculty at the University of Virginia for 15 years before joining MedImmune/Astrazeneca. She has worked on the clinical development of RSV monoclonal antibodies since joining MedImmune/Astrazeneca in 2005.
Paolo Manzoni, MD, PhD, has been for the last 14 years board member and cohordinator of the Italian Society of Neonatal Infectious Diseases, affiliated to the Italian Society of Neonatology in Italy.
He is a founding Board Member of the international, Excellence Research network on RSV named “Resvinet” since 2014 (www.resvinet.org)
Dr Manzoni earned his medical degree and specialization in Pediatrics from the University of Torino School of Medicine in 1989 and 1993, respectively, and conducted his residency in pediatric pulmonology and fellowship in infectious diseases and immunology at Azienda Ospedaliera OIRM ‒ S.Anna of Torino from 1991 to 1995, when he became part of the Faculty Staff of the Division of Neonatology and NICU at the S.Anna Hopsital in the same Institution.
Dr Manzoni has served on the Board of Directors for the Italian Society of Neonatology, of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, and of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine.
He is an associate member of the American Society for Pediatric Research and the Italian Society of Neonatology and Pediatrics.
He is also an external consultant for Pediatrics and Neonatology for the Italian Drug Agency (AIFA) and for the Pediatric Committee at the EMA (Europe Medicine Agency) .
He is co-founder of the Charity and Scientific Foundation “Crescere insieme al Sant’Anna”.
Dr Manzoni’s primary research interests include pediatric and neonatal infectious diseases, RSV (respiratory syncitial virus) prevention aand treatment in at-risk populaations, fungal infections and prevention, human milk bioactive nutrients, retinopathy of prematurity, and neonatal nutrition.
He was the leading investigator of the first, multicenter clinical trial of prophylactic fluconazole in preterm neonates, as well as of the first international, multicenter clinical trial of probiotic and lactoferrin feeding in preterm neonates.
He was the leading investigator of a European project on fluconazole and ciprofloxacin in neonates funded by the European Union in accordance with the European Medicine Agency (EMA), acting as WP leader in the TINN consortium; he was also involved in several other EU-funded research consortiums devoted to the study of antimicrobial drugs for neonates (NeoMero, Neovanc, etc).
He is the author of approximately 200 research articles published in peer-reviewed Italian and international medical journals, and Editor/Associate Editor of a number of peer-reviewed, leading international Journals.
Dr Tonya Villafana, Vice President, Global Franchise Head, Infection, is responsible for leading the Infection Franchise in AstraZeneca's Late Stage Respiratory and Immunology division. She leads cross-functional global product development teams for respiratory virus vaccines and monoclonal antibodies including AZD1222 (COVID-19 vaccine) and MEDI8897 (nirsevimab).