On Thursday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m., the Royal National Academy of Pharmacy (RANF) held the Solemn Inauguration Session of Academician with Medal Number 36 of Prof. Vicente Larraga, a researcher at the Margarita Salas Center for Biological Research (CIB-CSIC), where he directs the Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology.
Prof. Larraga read the opening speech entitled “Forgotten infectious diseases and vaccines. An ethical and scientific challenge” and was answered by Prof. María Vallet Regí, also a Full Member of the RANF.
Vicente Larraga Rodríguez de Vera has a degree in Medicine and Surgery and a degree and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). He conducted postdoctoral studies at the Hebrew University School of Medicine and the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), as well as at John's Hopkins University in Baltimore (USA). He was vice president of the CSIC, the body where he develops his scientific career, between 1989 and 1992; and director of the Margarita Salas Center for Biological Research, in the period 2005-2012. He belongs to various scientific societies, including the New York Academy of Sciences, the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Spanish Society of Tropical Medicine and International Health.
He has been working for thirty years on the development of recombinant vaccines against Leishmania infantum infection and on the protection mechanisms against the parasite in its main host, the dog. In this field, he has managed to develop a recombinant DNA vaccine against canine leishmaniasis that is currently in Phase IV, awaiting manufacturing and marketing permission from the European Medicines Agency. Based on the experience gained in the development of this vaccine against leishmaniasis, Prof. Larraga is currently developing a synthetic DNA vaccine against SARS-Cov-2.