Warp Speed chief visits Emory, urges participation in COVID vaccine trials

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Nov. 13, 2020

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Shannon McCaffrey
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Evan Anderson speaks to Moncef Slaoui at the Emory Children’s Center, which is hosting clinical trials for two COVID vaccine candidates (Moderna and Janssen)
Evan Anderson speaks to Moncef Slaoui at the Emory Children’s Center, which is hosting clinical trials for two COVID vaccine candidates (Moderna and Janssen)
Nadine Rouphael speaks to Moncef Slaoui at the Emory Children’s Center as Evan Anderson and other clinic staff members look on.
Nadine Rouphael speaks to Moncef Slaoui at the Emory Children’s Center as Evan Anderson and other clinic staff members look on.
Evan Anderson shows Moncef Slaoui a pod where those who show symptoms of COVID-19 are taken for testing. The pod, which is outside the actual clinic, allows those who might have COVID to be tested while avoiding contact with others in the clinical trial. 
Evan Anderson shows Moncef Slaoui a pod where those who show symptoms of COVID-19 are taken for testing. The pod, which is outside the actual clinic, allows those who might have COVID to be tested while avoiding contact with others in the clinical trial. 
Evan Anderson talks to Moncef Slaoui in the pod
Evan Anderson talks to Moncef Slaoui in the pod
Nadine Rouphael talks to Moncef Slauoi in the pod. Evan Anderson looks on.
Nadine Rouphael talks to Moncef Slauoi in the pod. Evan Anderson looks on.
Moncef Slaoui talks to Evan Anderson in the pod.
Moncef Slaoui talks to Evan Anderson in the pod.
Moncef Slaoui walks with Nadine Rouphael and Evan Anderson outside the Emory Children’s Center
Moncef Slaoui walks with Nadine Rouphael and Evan Anderson outside the Emory Children’s Center
Moncef Slaoui speaks to Evan Anderson about the status Operation Warp Speed in a conference room at the Emory Children’s Center. David S. Stephens looks on.
Moncef Slaoui speaks to Evan Anderson about the status Operation Warp Speed in a conference room at the Emory Children’s Center. David S. Stephens looks on.
Moncef Slaoui speaks about Operation Warp Speed in a conference room at Emory Children’s Center. Evan Anderson is in the foreground.
Moncef Slaoui speaks about Operation Warp Speed in a conference room at Emory Children’s Center. Evan Anderson is in the foreground.
David S. Stephens, Moncef Slaoui, Nadine Rouphael and Evan Anderson pose in front of the Emory Children’s Center, where two COVID vaccine candidates (Moderna and Janssen) are being tested.
David S. Stephens, Moncef Slaoui, Nadine Rouphael and Evan Anderson pose in front of the Emory Children’s Center, where two COVID vaccine candidates (Moderna and Janssen) are being tested.
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Operation Warp Speed's Chief Science Advisor visited Emory University and urged Americans to continue enrolling in ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials.

On Thursday, Nov. 12, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, toured the Emory Children’s Center, where two leading COVID vaccine clinical trials are underway. 

During his tour, Slaoui thanked the researchers and staff working on the trials and offered any assistance to keep the work at Emory moving forward. He had special words of thanks for vaccine trial volunteers and encouraged more Americans to step forward if they are able.

“Without their generous participation we can’t achieve the objective of having a vaccine against this pandemic pathogen,” Slaoui said. “It’s the way each one of us can help fight this pandemic.”

The Emory Children’s Center is taking part in two vaccine clinical trials that are a part of Operation Warp Speed. 

The first is an experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273 co-developed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and biotech company Moderna, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts. That trial is fully enrolled.

The second is a single dose vaccine candidate, developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. That trial is still seeking participants at Emory Children’s Center. Those interested in volunteering may do so here: coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org 

In his visit, Slaoui met with:

  • Evan Anderson MD, pediatrician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and principal investigator for the Moderna and Janssen vaccine trials at Emory Children’s Center.
  • Nadine Rouphael, MD, professor of medicine (infectious diseases) at Emory University School of Medicine, and principal investigator for the Moderna vaccine study at the Emory’s Hope Clinic, where she is interim director.
  • David S. Stephens, MD, vice president for research at Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center, chair Emory University School of Medicine, co- principal investigator Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC).

Operation Warp Speed is a public-private partnership designed to help accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. 


About the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC)

The IDCRC, consisting of the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) and the IDCRC Leadership Group, was formed in 2019 to support the planning and implementation of infectious diseases clinical research that efficiently addresses the scientific priorities of NIAID.  The consortium includes infectious diseases leaders and clinical researchers from Emory University, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center and University of Cincinnati, FHI360, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Johns Hopkins University, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, New York University, Saint Louis University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Rochester, University of Washington, and NIAID.