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The Sixth Annual Vaccine Renaissance Conference, hosted by the Institute for Immunology and Informatics (iCubed) at the University of Rhode Island (URI), took place on October 15–17, 2012. This conference provides a forum for the review of current progress in the discovery and development of vaccines, and creates an environment for the exchange of ideas. Dr. Joel McCleary opened the conference with a warning about the importance of preparing for well-defined biowarfare threats, including tularemia and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B. Following the keynote address, sessions explored biodefense and preparation for pandemic and biowarfare threats; vaccines for emerging and re-emerging neglected tropical diseases; animal vaccines and human health; and vaccine vectors and the human microbiome. In this issue of Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, seven Vaccine Renaissance Conference speakers will showcase their work; here, we describe a few of the conference highlights.