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Dear Colleagues,

In 2022, Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) for the first time organized a conference on vaccines and vaccination. These issues became critically important during SARS-CoV-2 pandemics. The pandemics put in focus a paraply of issues related to vaccine research and development, including principles of mass vaccination, vaccination complience and hesitance, acceptance of new vaccine modalities, preclinical/animal models for testing vaccine safety and efficacy and many more.

RSU organized international conference 'Vaccines and Vaccination During and Post Covid Pandemics / VAC&VAC 2022' on 7–9 December 2022 to address these important issues. The conference was held online on the Zoom platform provided by RSU, and united nearly 150 participants: 71 from Latvia, 7 from Sweden, 7 from Italy, 6 from USA, 4 from Republic of Korea, 3 from South Africa, 3 from the Netherlands, and also researchers from China, India, Tanzania, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania and San Marino. Participation in the conference was free. 


The conference covered the progress in the development of vaccines achieved since the start of SARS-CoV-2 pandemics. It had sessions on COVID-19, epidemiology of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection, HPV and cancer vaccines, progress in the development of vaccines against HIV-1 and other new and re-emerging microbial threats, novel vaccine formulations, adjuvants and careers, as well as populational aspects of vaccination. The topics were introduced by plenary lectures of renowned scientists from leading research institutions in USA, South Korea, South Africa, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, China and Latvia, followed by oral presentations of original data, totally 32. 

All participants of the conference are invited to submit their studies to Vaccines | Special Issue: Pandemics-Born Revolution in the Preclinical and Clinical Trials of Microbial Vaccines ( Accepted submissions of conference participants get 20 % reduction of processing charges. If you are interested to submit, please, send an email to Organizing Committee with suggested submission type, title, tentative abstract, and timeline when manuscript can be ready. Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2023.


Co-chairs of the Organising Committee
Maria Issagouliantis
Franco M. Buonaguro

Reports and Presentations

COVID-19 Pandemics & Vaccines
SARS-COV-2 and Inflammation
Ranjit Ray, Edward A. Doisy Research Center, Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology, Saint Louis University, USA; ranjit[pnkts]rayathealth[pnkts]slu[pnkts]edu
Development of DNA Vaccines Against SARS-COV-2: An Overview
Joel N Maslow, GeneOne Life Science, Seoul, South Korea; jmaslowatgenels[pnkts]us
Development of Viral Vaccines on Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (Vsv) Platform, Progress for Sars-Cov-2
Manki Song, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, Republic of Korea; mksongativi[pnkts]int
The Potential of Plants as Rapid-Response Expression Platforms for Pandemic Response. Host Plant Engineering in the Context of Rapid Vaccine Development, with Examples of SARS-CoV-2 and Other (Re)Emerging Viral Threats
Ed Rybicki, University of Cape Town, South Africa; ed[pnkts]rybickiatuct[pnkts]ac[pnkts]za
Long-Term Humoral and Cellular Sars-Cov-2 Vaccine-Specific Immune Response in Patients With Primary Antibody Deficiencies
Zane Lucāne, Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia; Zane[pnkts]Lucaneatrsu[pnkts]lv
Hesitant Bodies: Phenomenological Analysis of the Embodied Experience of Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy
Uldis Vēgners, Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia; Uldis[pnkts]Vegnersatrsu[pnkts]lv
Parents' Attitudes Towards Routine Children’s Immunization in the Republic of Belarus in Covid-19 Pandemic
Yuliya Raukach, Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia; 046571atrsu[pnkts]lv
Development of HIV Vaccines
Current Approaches to HIV Vaccine Development – Do We Get a Boost?
Jean Louis Excler, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, Republic of Korea; JeanLouis[pnkts]Exclerativi[pnkts]int
Therapeutic HIV-1 Vaccines for HIV-1 Infected Children: Update from the Hurrican Study
Paolo Palma, Academic Department of Pediatrics, Children Hospital / Ospedale-Pediatrico-Bambino-Gesu, Roma, Italy; paolo[pnkts]palmaatopbg[pnkts]net / paolo[pnkts]palmaatuniroma2[pnkts]it
HIV-1 Vaccine Trials in Sub-Saharan Africa
Frank Msafiri, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; frankmbulinyingiatyahoo[pnkts]com
Dissecting Immune Correlates of Risk of SIV Acquisition in Macaques Vaccinated with a Promising HIV Vaccine Candidate
Massimiliano Bissa, Animal Models and Retroviral Vaccines Section, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; Massimiliano[pnkts]Bissaatnih[pnkts]gov
HPV Infection & HPV Vaccination
The Population-Level Impact and Herd Effects of the Introduction of HPV Vaccination
Tina Dalianis, Institute for Oncology Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; tina[pnkts]dalianisatki[pnkts]se
Knowledge and Attitude to HPV Vaccination among Women in Latvia
Anda Ķīvīte-Urtāne, Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia; anda[pnkts]kivite-urtaneatrsu[pnkts]lv
HPV and HPV Vaccination in People Living with HIV-1
Anna-Lise Williamson, University of Cape Town, South Africa, anna-lise[pnkts]williamsonatuct[pnkts]ac[pnkts]za
Strategies to Prevent HPV-Associated Cancer. HPV or Liquid Cytology Screening – What Anchor Study Tells Us
Sona Chowdhury, University of California, San Francisco, USA; sona[pnkts]chowdhuryatucsf[pnkts]edu
Role of E6* Isoform Expression as a Marker of Active HPV Infection in Head and Neck Cancers
Andrea Cerasuolo, Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS Fond. Pascale, Naples, Italy; a[pnkts]cerasuoloatistitutotumori[pnkts]na[pnkts]it
Cancer Vaccines
Therapeutic Vaccines to Treat Chronic HPV Infection and Associated Cancer
Joel Palefsky, University of California, San Francisco, USA; joel[pnkts]palefskyatucsf[pnkts]edu 
Cancer Vaccine Development In Liver Cancer
Luigi Buonaguro, National Cancer Institute 'Fondazione Pascale', Naples, Italy; l[pnkts]buonaguroatistitutotumori[pnkts]na[pnkts]it
DNA and mRNA Vaccines for Cancer: Rationale, Mechanisms and Progress 
Margaret Liu, Protherimmune, Karolinska Institutet, and University of California, San Francisco, USA; liuatprotherimmune[pnkts]com
Recombinant Protein HPV Vaccine Combining E7, TLR4 Adjuvant and DC Targeting
Joon Haeng Rhee, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea; happypa1101atgmail[pnkts]com
Modelling HPV-Associated Carcinogenesis in Murine Adenocarcinoma 4T1 Cell Line Expressing HPV 16 Oncoproteins E6 and E7
Alesja Dudorova, Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital, and Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia; alesjadudorovaatgmail[pnkts]com
DNA Immunization with HPV 16 E6, but not E7, Induces Specific CD4+ T Cell Response and Hinders Growth and Metastatic Activity in Mice Of Adenocarcinoma Cells Made to Express E6 and E7
Juris Jansons, Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre, and Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia; jansonsatbiomed[pnkts]lu[pnkts]lv
Facing New and Re-Emerging Threats
Advances in Vaccine Development for Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus
Felicity J Burt, Division of Virology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa; burtfjatufs[pnkts]ac[pnkts]za   
A Human Blood Cell-Based in Vitro System for Assessing Vaccine Quality and Elucidating Vaccine-Induced Immune Mechanisms
Anke LW Huckriede, Department of Medical Microbiology & Infection Prevention, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; a[pnkts]l[pnkts]w[pnkts]huckriedeatumcg[pnkts]nl   
Vaccine-induced Seroreactivity and Accuracy of HIV Testing in Sub-Saharan Africa
Charlotta Nilsson, The Public Health Agency of Sweden, and Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; charlotta[pnkts]nilssonatfolkhalsomyndigheten[pnkts]se
Do We Need Hepatitis B Vaccine?
Tatjana Tallo, Folkhälsomyndighet, Solna, Sweden; tatjana[pnkts]talloatfolkhalsomyndigheten[pnkts]se
Combined Therapeutic/Prophylactic Hepatitis B VLP Vaccine Prototype
Irina Sominskaya, Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre, Riga, Latvia; irinaatbiomed[pnkts]lu[pnkts]lv
Novel Vaccine Vehicles, Adjuvants and Carriers
Adjuvants – the Tool to Obtain the Required Immune Responses in Prophylactic and Therapeutic Vaccination
Dennis Christensen, Croda Pharma, Frederikssund, Denmark; Dennis[pnkts]Christensenatcroda[pnkts]com   
Therapeutic Modulation of Tumor Microenvironment with Recombinant Viral Vectors
Anna Zajakina, Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre, Riga, Latvia; anna[pnkts]zajakinaatgmail[pnkts]com
Engineering Pickering Emulsion as Vaccine Delivery System
Yufei Xia, State Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, People's Republic of China; yfxiaatipe[pnkts]ac[pnkts]cn
Gold Nanoparticle-Based Adivants for Vaccines against Infectious Diseases
Jorma Hinkula, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; jorma[pnkts]hinkulaatlu[pnkts]se
HBC VLP-Based Platform for the Development of a Recombinant Vaccine Prototype Against SARS-COV-2
Anastasia Nepryakhina, Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre, Riga, Latvia; nastjuuuwatgmail[pnkts]com
Research Impact and Implementation
Ways to Achieve High Impact in Academic Research
Dr Charlotta Lindquist, External Engagement Office, Karolinska Instititet, Stockholm, Sweden; charlotta[pnkts]lindquistatki[pnkts]se
Commercial Implementation of Research Findings
Dr Patrik Blomquist, Karolinska Institutet Innovation AB, Stockholm, Sweden, patrik[pnkts]blomquistatkiinnovations[pnkts]se
Grant Writing: ABC of Preparing Successful Grant Applications
Dr Ying Zhao, Grants Office, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; ying[pnkts]zhaoatki[pnkts]se
Research Funding
Health Research in EC Member States Initiatives
Dr Uldis Berķis, Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, and Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia; uldis[pnkts]berkisatrsu[pnkts]lv
European Community Funding of Vaccine Development
Dr Jānis Ancāns, Head of National Contact Point for Horizon Europe, Cluster “Health” Expert for Horizon Europe National Contact Point, Latvian Council of Science, Riga, Latvia; janis[pnkts]ancansatlzp[pnkts]gov[pnkts]lv


Abstract Submission

Registered participants of VAC&VAC 2022 conference submitted the abstracts that shaped conference program. Abstract submission closed November 28, 2022. Submissions were open in the sessions: (1) Covid-19 pandemics & vaccines; (2) Development of HIV-1 vaccines; (3) HPV infection & HPV vaccination; (4) Cancer vaccines; (5) Facing new and re-emerging threats; (6) Novel vaccine vehicles, adjuvants and carriers. Totally Organizing Committee received 35 abstracts including 6 for plenary lectures.   

Evaluation & Publication

All submitted abstracts were reviewed by the Reviewer Board. Decision on the acceptance and presentation form was communicated to the registered participants by email on 30 November 2022.

Abstracts were compiled into an Abstract book. The organising committee negotiates the possibility of publishing the abstract book with no additional charges to conference participants, alternatively, publish a conference report reviewing all presented studies in VACCINES (MDPI).

 Conference participants have also the possibility to submit manuscripts describing their experimental studies, short communications, reviews, opinions, comments to the special issue of VACCINES covering this conference Vaccines | Special Issue: Pandemics-Born Revolution in the Preclinical and Clinical Trials of Microbial Vaccines (, with reduced processing fee.

Early Career Researchers Contest

Organizing committe organized a contest of participants aged 36 or less. Presentations of early career researchers were assessed by independent board of five reviewers consisting or one professor, one associated professor, two senior researchers, and one PhD student. Presentations were assessed be series of criteria and winners established based on total ranks. 

Winners of the early career researcher contest are:

  • Massimiliano Bissa (Animal Models and Retroviral Vaccines Section, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) – 1st prize, 
  • Andrea Cerasuolo (Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS Fond. Pascale, Naples, Italy) – 2nd prize, 
  • Zane Lucāne and Yuliya Raukach, Rīga Stradiņš University, Riga – shared 3rd prize.

Winners will recieve monetary awards in amount of 300 euro, 150 euro and 75 euro, respectively, and 1st and 2nd place winners, also vouchers for free publication in special issue of VACCINES covering the conference. 

Attendance and Winner certificates

For regular participants and winners of early career researcher contest

Attendance and winner certificates will be issued by Organizing committee upon written request of conference participants.  

For Bachelor, Master, Internship and PhD students

All registered participants of this category can receive participant certificates on the condition that they had participated in at least 4 our of 6 full sessions, and at least 1 out of 2 full workshops. Participation means both being connected and being active. The first parameter – attendance – has been registered electronically as the time participant was connected.  The second – activity – has been registered as the number of  topical questions raised during each session, minimum of one per session is requested. Questions and answers, and Char were recorded by Zoom, as text files.  Attendance certificates will be issued by Organizing committee upon written request by the participants.

Data Processing

It should be pointed out that in order to ensure the proper processing of personal data of the conference participants, personal data of the participants may be processed during the conference events, i.e., the photos may be taken, voice or video recordings may be made. Your personal data may be used to ensure RSU's legitimate interests in informing the public and in marketing and communication activities (including the material preparation and publishing on social networks).

Photos may be taken and videos may be recorded during the event; and the event may be live-streamed as well. In such a case, information signs shall be put up at the entrance to the event indicating that photos and videos are taken during the event or the event may be viewed via live-stream. Photos and videos of a person may be posted on RSU website and/or on social networks as well as in mass media.

Your participation in the conference is entirely voluntary. If you have agreed to participate in the conference, you are entitled to suspend your participation at any time. In addition, you have the right to request access to personal data, the right to rectify or delete personal data, and to object to the processing carried out or to request the transfer of personal data.

Rights of the person and the possibility of objecting to the processing of personal data

If you object to such processing of personal data, please notify us of it by e-mail to conferenceatrsu[pnkts]lv or personu[pnkts]datiatrsu[pnkts]lv.

Presentations, speeches and poster presentations submitted for the conference shall be publicly available and downloadable for study and research purposes.

Each conference participant shall assume the responsibility for the compliance with the intellectual property rights of third parties during creation (performance) of the research materials (Copyright work), thereby also ensuring the Contracting Authority against the claims of third parties.

Organising Committee

  • Maria Issagouliantis
  • Lība Sokolovska
  • Juris Jansons
  • Aigars Červinskis
  • Andris Bruģis