A study led by Jenner Investigator Prof Simon Draper has identified the antibodies that may hold the key to creating the first effective vaccine against malaria infection in the blood. The researchers from the Jenner Institute along with partners from five institutions around the world, have identified the human antibodies that prevent the malaria parasite from entering blood cells, which may be key to creating a highly effective malaria vaccination. The results of the study were published today in the journal Cell.
Jenner Investigators Helen McShane and Philip Bejon were amongst this year's new Fellows of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. The Fellows have been selected for their outstanding contributions to advancing medical science, cutting edge research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society. Many have also made a contribution to medical science through outstanding leadership, public engagement and supporting the career advancement of junior trainees.
Jenner Institute is supporting the Fight Against Malaria campaign. Read features on the importance of stepping up commitment and investment to end malaria from key thought leaders, in today’s Guardian and online. “We need effective vaccines as soon as possible,” says Simon Draper, Head of the Blood-Stage Malaria Vaccine Group at the Jenner Institute, in a feature about malaria vaccines being trialled now. “In the year 2000, malaria was claiming about a million lives a year globally. By 2018 bed nets, insecticides and anti-malarial drugs had reduced that to around 450,000, but that improvement seems to be stalling.”
The European AIDS Vaccine Initiative (EAVI2020) are getting closer to developing a protective vaccine against HIV with clinical trials now underway. Prof Quentin Sattentau, Jenner Investigator, is a member of the consortium coordinated by Prof Robin Shattock, Imperial College London. The role of Prof Sattentau’s lab is to design novel methods for stabilising HIV surface proteins with the aim of promoting enhanced antibody responses to vaccination.
Interview with Jenner Investigator, Prof Helen McShane in Horizon, the EU Research & Innovation magazine: "Several new TB vaccines are under development and there is growing optimism that a new vaccine will emerge. This could save millions of lives, but more work is needed to reassure the general public that vaccines are safe and effective. In the year 2000, there were no new TB vaccines in clinical trials. Today there are over a dozen – many of them coming from the TBVAC European consortium of vaccine developers".
Four University of Oxford professors have been named National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigators in recognition of their “outstanding contribution to clinical and applied health and social care research”. Senior Investigators are appointed from NIHR Investigators through annual competitions, informed by the advice of an international panel of experts. Among those recognised was Prof Helen McShane, Director of the NIHR Oxford BRC. She said: “I am very proud to be one of the academics to have received this award. I’m equally proud of my university colleagues whose outstanding research leadership has been recognised with this highly competitive award".
Researchers have developed a vaccine that blocks the effects of the main cause of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) - nerve growth factor (NGF) - in mice. In a collaborative effort between the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, with colleagues in the University of Bern, and the Latvian Biomedical Research & Study Centre, scientists have developed and tested a vaccine that could be used to treat chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis, by blocking the cause of the pain.
The Multi-Stage Malaria Vaccine Consortium (MMVC) seeks applications for three four-year PhD fellowships supported by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). MMVC offers training and excellent research opportunities for outstanding African PhD students in a vibrant and stimulating scientific environment. Fellowships are open to all African scientists wishing to pursue a career in malaria research and vaccinology. MMVC Fellowships may be held at one of the MMVC African partner institutions in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, The Gambia but applications are open to others who meet the required eligibility criteria working outside these institutions.
Applicants must be African nationals, and have an intention to pursue a long-term career in malaria research and/or vaccinology. Closing date 15 March 2019, 17:00 GMT. More details here.
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