Newswise — PHILADELPHIA – The laboratory of David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, received the 2015 Vaccine Industry Excellence Award for Best Academic Research Team, at the World Vaccine Congress in Washington, DC this week. The Congress is an annual meeting of vaccine professionals from industry, academia, and non-profit organizations.

“It is a great honor to receive this important award, especially with such an exceptional field of deserving finalists,” says Weiner. “This award is testimony to the many wonderful scientists who I have been lucky to have had pass through my laboratory, as well as those that I have been fortunate to collaborate with from academia or industry, and to the exceptional research environment present at Penn.”

The Weiner lab's DNA vaccines program was chosen over other finalists from Duke University, Harvard Medical School, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center by hundreds of vaccine stakeholders who voted for those most deserving of recognition for their work across 14 vaccine-related categories.

This award, given annually to the research group that has produced products with a novel mode of action, seen them progress into human trials, and can demonstrate significant supportive research grants, was given to Weiner and his lab for making significant contributions to the field of DNA vaccines.

Weiner is also chair of the Gene Therapy and Vaccine Program and co-leader of Tumor Virology Program in the Abramson Cancer Center.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.9 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $409 million awarded in the 2014 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2014, Penn Medicine provided $771 million to benefit our community.

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