Mariagrazia Pizza
Senior Scientific Director for Bacterial Vaccines, GSK Vaccines

Event Details
4.30-5.30pm: Lecture by Prof. Mariagrazia Pizza
5.30-6.30pm: Refreshments and networking

Vaccines have had a major impact on human health over the past two centuries, allowing for the control and elimination of many infectious diseases. Most of the vaccines available today, although very effective, have been developed using conventional approaches. Important discoveries in the field of chemistry, microbiology and immunology and the development of new and sophisticated technologies have provided alternatives to the design of improved vaccines or of novel vaccines against infections for which preventive measures do not exist.

Meet the speaker
Prof. Mariagrazia Pizza received her degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies at the University of Naples, Italy. After a fellowship at the EMBO laboratories in Heidelberg, Germany, Mariagrazia moved to Siena, where she is currently Senior Scientific Director for Bacterial Vaccines at GSK Vaccines. She has led many bacterial projects and contributed to the discovery of a pertussis vaccine based on a genetically detoxified toxin, shown to be able to protect children from disease and to the discovery of new vaccine antigens by genome mining (reverse vaccinology), which are the basis of a new MenB vaccine now licensed in more than 38 countries worldwide. She has received many scientific awards, is fellow of Academic Societies and EMBO, and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester. She has over 200 publications in international peer-reviewed journals and is co-inventor of many patents.

About Skerman Lecture

professor victor skerman
Professor V. B. D. Skerman

The Skerman Lecture recognises the contribution of Professor Victor Bruce Darlington Skerman in the development of Microbiology at The University of Queensland.

Professor Skerman was Head of the Department of Microbiology from 1962 to 1981, having been appointed Foundation Chair of Microbiology in 1961.

He had broad interests in microbial physiology, ecology and diversity, but is best known and recognised for his international reform of bacterial systematics and nomenclature.

The lecture was not offered in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read more about Professor Skerman on our history page.


Queensland Biosciences Precinct, Building 80