Ofer Levy MD, PhD, brings precision medicine principles to vaccine research. He does this by building collaborative, multi-disciplinary international teams that create innovative vaccines tailored to the specific needs of vulnerable populations.
Together with his colleagues, he has developed unique, blood-based systems that enable study of human immunity outside the body. Using these tools, the team discovered that the human immune system changes markedly with age, revealing the need to develop vaccines optimized to protect specific populations at high risk of infection such as the young or elderly.
Dr. Levy is the Director of the Precision Vaccines Program, staff physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. He is currently leading an NIH/NIAID-funded Human Immunology Project Consortium center, which is working to define molecular mechanisms of vaccine protection in the very young. His latest research projects also include the discovery and development of adjuvants, small molecules that boost immune responses and can be used to create age-specific vaccines. Dr. Levy and the Precision Vaccines Program team are now working on adjuvant-boosted vaccines to provide protection against COVID-19, influenza, pertussis (whooping cough), HIV, and opioid use disorder/overdose. A member of the U.S. FDA vaccine advisory committee that has deliberated and voted on coronavirus vaccine authorizations, he has authored of over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles. His work has been featured on TED as well as news outlets, including CNN, FOX News, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, National Geographic and Scientific American.