We were all very saddened to hear the news that Bonnie Mathieson passed away on January 8th 2018. Bonnie made many contributions to vaccine research and especially to HIV vaccine development, and served as a member of the Jenner Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Researchers are seeking about 500 NHS patients to try out a new "universal" vaccine against seasonal flu. The experimental vaccine works differently from the one currently available, which has to be remade each year based on a "best guess" of what type of flu is likely to be about.
The new jab targets part of the virus that does not change each year. This means the vaccine should work against human, bird and swine flu, say the team from the University of Oxford led by Prof Sarah Gilbert, Jenner Investigator.
‘We started the first trial in 2002 and we finished the efficacy trial in 2013.’ Nine years of trials. That was on top of the time taken to develop the thing in the first place. That’s a long time. For Le Mans, the MdS and the Vendee Globe, the finish line is known, fixed; for vaccines, new data may move the finish line at any time. Vaccine development may not be as physically demanding, but to keep plugging away for twenty years surely requires mental resilience.
Jenner scientist Dr Rachel Tanner has been awarded an NC3Rs Skills and Knowledge Transfer Grant for the transfer of a novel non-human primate in vitro mycobacterial growth inhibition assay. The assay will be transferred to Public Health England and the Biomedical Primate Research Centre, with the aim of refining and reducing use of non-human primate TB infection models in the early evaluation of TB vaccine candidates.
Statement from Professor Ewan McKendrick, Registrar of Oxford University, regarding BBC’s File on 4 programme (6 June 2017) examining the role of animal experiments in the development of a new human vaccine for tuberculosis.
Whether a painful strep throat turns into a fatal case of heart disease depends not just on prompt antibiotic treatment but also on the patient’s genetic makeup, according to a new study led by Oxford University scientists. The discovery could help the long fight to find a vaccine against Group A streptococcus bacteria, which cause strep throat, scarlet fever and rheumatic heart disease. The Oxford study, published in Nature Communications this month, was done in Fiji, New Caledonia and other South Pacific islands “because it’s one of the top reasons young people die there,” said Dr. Tom Parks, lead author and part of Prof Adrian Hill's genetics group which studies genetic susceptibility to infectious diseases.
A new partnership has been formed between European and African researchers to develop an AIDS vaccine that can be used to prevent infection with different strains of HIV worldwide. The partnership, which is led by Prof Tomáš Hanke at the Jenner Institute, will evaluate a new vaccine that triggers the body to produce T-cells, at four sites in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. Professor Tomáš Hanke said: 'There is enormous variation between HIV strains worldwide, which as well as making treatment difficult, has also been an obstacle to developing a vaccine. By using small parts common to most HIV strains, if successful, the vaccine could be used around the world, especially in Africa which is most affected by the HIV pandemic.'
p53 is one of the most damaged genes in cancer. Because p53 stays inside the cells, it is not straightforward to identify and kill the cells with damaged p53. Jenner Institute researcher, Dr Nicola Ternette has developed an antibody that recognises a p53 fragment presented on cancer cell surface and shows in a recent publication that this antibody is a promising new drug for cancer immunotherapy.
An Oxford University spinout company is developing a molecular superglue for the rapid development of vaccines targeting a range of diseases. SpyBiotech, co-founded by Jenner researchers Sumi Biswas, Jing Jin and Simon Draper aims to facilitate the rapid development of robust and novel vaccines.
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