The 2021 Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Symposium Announcement

The Amsterdam Institute of Global Health and Development and the Joep Lange Institute will host the annual Joep Lange Chairs and Fellows Program Symposium on 28 October 2021, with the timely theme of The Future of Vaccination. The Symposium will feature world-class experts in the areas of vaccination, virology, the economics of vaccination, and vaccine law and policy. The event is free to attend and open to the public. Make sure to register in advance to obtain full access to the event. The registration can be found here.

This year, the symposium will feature research priorities and developments in design, evaluation, financing, and implementation of current and novel vaccines. The diverse line-up of expert speakers will discuss the issue of vaccination from various vantage points. Virologist Prof. Rogier Sanders will present on virology-experimental vaccinology, Prof. Anna Vassall will give a talk assessing the impact of vaccines from a health economics standpoint, international health law Prof. Ellen ‘t Hoen will discuss the legality, access and patents of vaccines, and director of Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, will give the keynote speech. In addition to speakers, the symposium will also feature live Q&A sessions with an opportunity to ask questions, as well as a panel discussion.

The Joep Lange Chair & Fellows Program was founded in 2015 in memory of the late scientist, HIV activist, and founder of AIGHD, Dr. Joep Lange. The Symposium began in 2019, highlighting expert researchers on a chosen topic. While this year’s symposium will be virtual, the sentiment is the same – create a unique, interactive symposium that brings together leading experts to discuss the latest research and share their thoughts. In 2019, the theme was Access to care: Making health markets work for the poor. In that year, the event was chaired by former executive director of the Global Fund Prof. Mark Dybul, behavioral economist Prof. Dan Ariely, health economist Prof. Anna Vassall and epidemiologist Prof. Catherine Kyobutungi, who all shared their research findings on this topic and elaborated on solutions to barriers to healthcare access.

This year’s theme has naturally evolved given the current COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has illustrated how crucial expedient vaccine delivery is not only for health purposes, but also for the general wellbeing of a society. Mass vaccination in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised many questions which warrant further investigation, not only from a purely biomedical standpoint, but also from a legal, economic, and ethical one. This symposium aims to bring these issues to the fore and set the stage for future research on vaccines. However, it should be noted that this symposium is not exclusively focused on SARS-CoV-19 vaccines, but vaccination more generally. A variety of issues pertaining to vaccination will be discussed, from vaccine hesitancy and acceptance, vaccine development and evaluation, and the issue of patents and investments in vaccine research and development.


In addition to the upcoming Symposium, the Joep Lange Chair Program organizes an annual Masterclass on the same theme as the Symposium, The Future of Vaccination, which will be held on 2 and 3 November 2021. The Masterclass gives early-stage researchers and PhD students the opportunity to present their research to world-class experts and receive constructive feedback. This year’s masters for the Masterclass are Prof. Mark Dybul, Prof. Anna Vassall, Prof. Melissa Parker, and Prof. Catherine Kyobutungi. To find out more information about the Masterclass and to submit your abstract, click here. The deadline for abstract submission is 27 September 2021.