Robert Belshe, M.D.
Robert Belshe, MD,
Adorjan Endowed Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Molecular Microbiology and Director, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology. Dr. Belshe’s training includes three years in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at NIAID, under the direction of Dr. Robert Chanock. His training included clinical research and laboratory research in viral diseases. While at NIAID, Dr. Belshe conducted clinical trials in an isolation unit and studies with vaccines in chimpanzees. Dr. Belshe is an expert in conducting clinical evaluation of live attenuated viral vaccines and in the laboratory evaluation of serum and secretory antibodies, basic studies on respiratory viruses, and characterization of attenuated viruses. His experience has included the evaluation of vaccines in ambulatory infants and children, in elderly persons or in young adults in an isolation unit. More than 20,000 volunteers have participated in these studies. Dr. Belshe has acquired the necessary administrative experience to develop new protocols and new techniques as needed to conduct clinical trials with all types of vaccines, delivery systems, and different vaccine schedules. The development of protocols and recruiting techniques for the NIAID sponsored vaccine studies has resulted in a broad range of ideas and techniques which can be applied to recruiting volunteers to participate in all types of vaccine studies. Dr. Belshe has participated actively in the product development plans for the evaluation of vaccines including subunit bacterial and viral vaccines, live vaccines, recombinant vaccines, and novel vaccines.
Dr. Belshe has been the overall Principal Investigator of the Saint Louis University Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) since coming to Saint Louis University in 1989. He has extensive laboratory and clinical experience at vaccine development and broad experience organizing and conducting clinical vaccine trials. He chaired the NIAID phase 3 multicenter study evaluating the efficacy of live attenuated influenza vaccine in children. More recently, he chairs the Herpevac Trial For Women, an ongoing NIAID study of HSV-2 vaccine in 7550 women who are preselected as seronegative for HSV 1 and 2.
Dr Belshe has experience at all stages of vaccine development from the bench to efficacy trials to product licensure application at the FDA. Dr. Belshe developed the candidate vaccine for parainfluenza type 3 (CP45) in his laboratory; the vaccine recently successfully completed a phase 2 clinical trial in infants and young children in a clinical trial conducted jointly by NIH and industry. In addition to clinical and lab experience, Dr Belshe has served on FDA and CDC committees advising these agencies on vaccine regulatory matters and developing vaccine usage guidelines and recommendations.
He has assembled a highly productive group of investigators and staff that form the basis of the Vaccine Center. His leadership and extensive experience with vaccines of all types gives a broad, collaborative perspective to cross fertilize the field of vaccine development.