Imophoron co-founder Professor Imre Berger elected fellow of the prestigious Academy of Medical Sciences
Imre Berger, Co-founder of Imophoron, Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry and Director of Bristol’s Max Planck Centre for Minimal Biology has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) for his outstanding contributions to biomedical science and notable discoveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Berger, together with Imophoron CEO Fred Garzoni, developed the ADDomer™, a ground-breaking vaccine platform for rapid-response vaccines to combat present and future infectious diseases including COVID-19.
A key benefit of the platform is thermostability, making production, storage, transport, and deployment less restricted by refrigeration. Moreover, candidate vaccines can be identified rapidly and could be manufactured in large quantities, potentially enabling unrestricted distribution world-wide.
The pioneering ADDomer™ platform represents the core technology innovation of Imophoron Ltd, co-founded by Professor Berger and Fred Garzoni to bring ADDomer™-based vaccines to the market.
Professor Imre Berger, Co-founder of Imophoron.
Professor Berger’s work also includes a number of significant breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19. His team discovered a druggable pocket in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein that could be exploited to stop the virus from infecting human cells, blocking transmission and forestalling severe COVID-19 disease. The findings, published in Science, could potentially result in cost-effective treatments against all pathogenic coronavirus strains.
Other important breakthroughs include the discovery that SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals could have several different SARS-CoV-2 variants hidden away from the immune system in different parts of the body, which may make complete clearance of the virus from infected persons, by their own antibodies, or by therapeutic antibody treatments, much more difficult.
Professor Imre Berger said: 'I am honoured to have been elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
I am deeply grateful for the great effort by the fantastic scientists, technicians, engineers and students in my team, past and present, and the collaborators, in academia and industry, whom I have the privilege to work with. During the pandemic, we discovered important new features of SARS-CoV-2, and we could demonstrate the unparalleled potential of ADDomer™ by preparing a thermostable COVID-19 candidate vaccine. It is rewarding to have had our contributions recognised by the Academy.'
Imophoron CEO Fred Garzoni said: ‘ I am delighted to hear that Imre has been elected as a fellow of The Academy of Medical Sciences. Congratulations to Imre and the team for all their hard work and I am thrilled that their accomplishments are being recognised in such a distinguished way.’
Professor Berger is also Board Member of Imophoron Ltd, and serves as Chair of Imophoron’s Scientific Advisory Board. He is Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and Investigator of the European Research Council ERC.
The Academy of Medical Sciences is one of the four National Academies in the UK and the independent body representing the diversity of medical science. Its mission is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society. Notable Fellows include Sir Jeremy Farrar OBE, Director of the Wellcome Trust; Sir Andrew Witty, Chief Executive Officer GSK; Prof Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Institut Pasteur and Nobel Laureate 2008; Chen Zhu, Former Minister of Health of the People's Republic of China, Prof Elizabeth Blackburn, Salk Institute and Nobel Laureate 2009, and Sir Paul Nurse CH FRS, Nobel laureate 2001.