NISS-Merck Virtual Meet-up on Issues in Vaccine Development

September 16, 2020 11-12:30 ET

[Please Note: The session has already occurred.  Go to the News Story for this event to read about what happened.]

The National Institute of Statistical Science (NISS) and Merck are sponsoring a Virtual Meet-Up on Vaccine Development.

With the COVID pandemic having such a profound effect, everyone is hoping for a highly protective and safe vaccine soon. Yet most have little understanding of the difficult road for discovery and development of a vaccine. In this meet-up we will discuss some of the challenges of vaccine development and novel ways those challenges can be met. 


Register for this event here!

After you register, NISS will email you a links and reminders for the meet-up. The Meet-Up will use Zoom software and is free to the public.

Previous NISS-Merck Meet-Ups can be viewed on the NISS website.

NISS-Merck Meet-up Series - Now Using Zoom!

Zoom users will be prompted to download and run a small Zoom meeting launcher.  (View a 53 sec video - "How to Join a Meeting"

Registered attendees are view-only participants.

Use the Question & Answer (Q&A) feature to ask questions during the meet-up.
Click on the Q&A icon at the bottom of the Zoom window, type in your question for the panelist and click ‘Enter’.

When a speaker is sharing his/her screen you can minimize the video displays of the other speakers by clicking on the dash button that appears on top of the panel showing all of the speakers.


The agenda for the meet-up is as follows:

Ivan Chan, (AbbVie Inc.)

"Opportunities and challenges in vaccine development"

Joshua Chen, (Sanofi Pasteur)

"Some Considerations on Developing COVID-19 Vaccines"

Marc Lipsitch, (Harvard University)

"From testing to distribution: the importance of, and challenges to, estimating the protective effects of vaccines"


About the Speakers

Ivan Chan (AbbVie):  Ivan is Vice President, Global Head of Statistical Sciences at AbbVie. He has extensive experience in discovery, biomarker research, early and late clinical development, and global medical affairs. He has worked in a wide range of therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, neurology, women’s health, biologics, and vaccines. He earned a PhD in Biostatistics from Univ. of Minnesota. He is a fellow of both the American Statistical Association and the Society for Clinical Trials. Ivan serves as Executive Director of the International Society for Biopharmaceutical Statistics (ISBS). He has 80+ publications in statistical and clinical journals.

Joshua Chen (Sanofi) : Josh received his PhD in Statistics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is currently the Global Head of Biostatistics and Programming at Sanofi Pasteur.  Before joining Pasteur, Josh worked on clinical development of small molecules, biologics and vaccines at Merck Research Laboratory Labs. His experience spans many therapeutic areas with major focus on human vaccines and antiviral drugs. He has extensive experience in study design, conduct and reporting of international clinical trials from proof-of-concept through regulatory approvals and life cycle management. His primary research interest is clinical trial designs, including group sequential methods, adaptive designs and multiregional clinical trials (MRCTs). He was a co-lead of the across-industry MRCT Consistency Working Group under PhRMA (2008-2011) and Society for Clinical Trials (2012-2014). He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association.

Marc Lipsitch (Harvard) :  Marc is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health with a primary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and a joint appointment in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. He also directs the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics. His research concerns the effect of naturally acquired host immunity, vaccine-induced immunity and other public health interventions on the population biology of pathogens and the consequences of changing pathogen populations for human health.  Some of this work is motivated mainly by practical questions in public health (such as vaccine design and intervention targeting), and some is motivated by classical questions in population biology, such as how to explain patterns of coexistence of pathogen strains in space and time. Marc received his BA in philosophy from Yale University, completed his doctoral work in zoology at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and did postdoctoral work at Emory University and at the CDC from 1995-1999. He joined the faculty of Harvard School of Public Health in 1999.

Event Type


Merck & Co., Inc.


National Institute of Statistical Sciences




Virtual Meet-up
Time: 11:00 am -12:30 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Using Zoom Video Conferencing Software
Merck logo
NISS logo
Moderator: Dan Holder (Merck) Speakers: (left to right) Ivan Chan, (AbbVie Inc.), Joshua Chen, (Sanofi Pasteur), Marc Lipsitch, (Harvard University)