Rino Rappuoli is Chief Scientist at GSK Vaccines and is based in Siena, Italy. He earned his PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Siena and has served as visiting scientist at Rockefeller University in New York and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Prior to the present position he was Head R&D at Sclavo, Head of Vaccine Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Chiron Corporation, and then Global Head R&D at Novartis Vaccines.
His team developed CRM197 used in H.influenzae, N.meningitidis, and pneumococcus 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 meningococcus B.
He is elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the European Molecular Biology Organization. Awards conferred include: Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (1991), the Gold Medal by the Italian President (2005), 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.
He has introduced several novel scientific concepts (genetic detoxification, 1987; cellular microbiology, 1996; reverse vaccinology, 2000; pangenome, 2005). He has served on the Committee on Identifying and Prioritizing New Preventive Vaccines for Development of the Institute of Medicine.