Executive Team

Antonio Lanzavecchia photoAntonio Lanzavecchia, M.D. 

Senior Vice President & Senior Research Fellow

Antonio Lanzavecchia, M.D., is a Senior Vice President and Senior Research Fellow at Vir. Dr. Lanzavecchia will provide scientific leadership for Vir’s technical programs. In addition to this role, Dr. Lanzavecchia will continue to serve as the director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona, Switzerland and as a professor in the faculty of biomedical sciences at the Università della Svizzera italiana.

Dr. Lanzavecchia is recognized for his contributions to the development of the field of human immunology. His discoveries on antigen presentation, dendritic cell biology, and immunological memory have implications for the development of new therapeutic approaches and vaccines. Dr. Lanzavecchia’s lab at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine developed high-throughput cell-based screens to isolate potent and broadly neutralizing antibodies from human memory B cells and plasma cells. These antibodies represent candidates for passive vaccination, as well as tools for vaccine design. His lab is also addressing basic questions on the role of somatic mutations in protective antibody responses and on the role of a new mechanism of antibody diversification based on templated insertions that they discovered in malaria-immune individuals. Dr. Lanzavecchia has more than 300 publications and several patents to his name and has served on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science and on the editorial boards of Journal of Experimental Medicine and European Journal of Immunology.

Dr. Lanzavecchia earned a medical degree from the University of Pavia, where he specialized in pediatrics and in infectious diseases and worked for almost two decades at the Basel Institute for Immunology. He has been a professor at the University of Genova and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zürich. He is member of the European Molecular Biology Organization of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences and is a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.