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Simpson Lecture Set for May 4

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24 April 2015

Stephen HoffmanStephen L. Hoffman, founder, chief executive officer, and chief scientific officer of Sanaria Incorporated, will present the 2014/2015 Robert T. Simpson Memorial Lecture in Molecular Medicine at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 4, in 100 Life Sciences Building on the Penn State University Park campus. This free public lecture titled, “Moving Toward Licensure and Deployment of a Whole Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) Sporozoite (SPZ) Malaria Vaccine,” is sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Hoffman is a leader in the use of genomics and proteomics for the development of biopharmaceuticals, with particular interest in the development of a malaria vaccine. In 2003, he founded Sanaria Incorporated, a company dedicated to developing a malaria vaccine that uses inactivated, whole sporozoites -- the stage in the life cycle of the malaria Plasmodium falciparum parasite that is transmitted to new hosts by mosquitos. Prior to forming Sanaria, Hoffman was senior vice-president of biologics at Celera Genomics from 2001 to 2003, where he organized the sequencing of the genome of the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, which carries and transmits malaria. From 1987 to 2001, he was director of the malaria program at the Naval Medical Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland where he and his team were leaders in subunit malaria vaccine development and in the sequencing of the Plasmodium falciparum genome. The team conducted the first studies that showed that DNA vaccines elicited the killer T-cell response in humans. From 1980 to 1984, Hoffman was director of Clinical Investigation and Epidemiology at the Naval Medical Research Unit-2 in Jakarta, Indonesia where he conducted studies on typhoid fever, filariasis, malaria, cholera, and severe dengue fever throughout the Indonesian archipelago.

Hoffman has held several professorships and chairs and serves on multiple advisory boards. He is a past president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and a Fellow of multiple honorary societies. He has authored more than 390 scientific publications and is the most highly cited author in the world for scientific papers on malaria published between 1995 and 2005. Hoffman holds numerous patents, and has received multiple awards. He was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2004. Hoffman's achievements are featured in the book "The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men: Inspiration, Vision, and Purpose in the Quest to End Malaria" by Bill Shore.

Hoffman earned a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1970. He earned a doctor of medicine degree at Weill Cornell Medical College in 1975 and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1978. Hoffman did residency training at the University of California-San Diego. He received an honorary doctor of science degree from Monmouth University in 2006.

The Robert T. Simpson Lectureship honors Robert T. Simpson and is made possible through donations from his family, friends, colleagues, and associates. Simpson was an international leader for more than 35 years in research on chromatin, a fundamental component of chromosomes, and its role in gene regulation. Simpson was at the NIH from 1970 until 1995, when he became the Verne M. Willaman Professor of Molecular Biology at Penn State University. His addition to Penn State in 1995 is considered to have placed Penn State and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the forefront of chromatin research and to have greatly enhanced Penn State's research and educational missions.


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Tamara Housel: txh9@psu.edu Phone: (814) 865-3072

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