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.
An application led by the Jenner Institute for a new Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre has been awarded £66 million through the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). The UK’s first-ever dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will create cost-effective ways of developing and manufacturing vaccines for global distribution, as well as ensuring the UK’s preparedness in the event of pandemics of infectious diseases such as Ebola and Lassa. The centre is expected to open in 2022, with the first products from the centre expected later that year. The centre will be built in Oxford, creating more than 50 jobs in the local area.
The Medical Sciences Divisional Panel has conferred the title of Professor on Associate Professor Simon Draper and the title of Associate Professor on Dr Teresa Lambe, Dr George Warimwe and Dr David Wyllie. They have all been awarded these titles in recognition of their distinction in their respective fields and contributions to the research, teaching and administration of the Department and we congratulate them on their success.
The malaria parasite is a shape-shifter, changing its surface coat to escape destruction by the human body. This depends upon a malaria protein called RH5 binding to a human protein called basigin on the surface of red blood cells. Unlike the other variable malaria surface proteins, RH5 does not vary, making it more easily recognised and destroyed. Jenner Investigators Sumi Biswas and Simon Draper have immunised human volunteers with RH5. Antibodies isolated from these volunteers prevent the parasite from invading red blood cells. At the RS Summer Science Exhibition they will show the public how it works, using games to detect the unchanging elements in a shape-shifting parasite, 3D models demonstrating of RH5 binding to basigin and antibodies and interactive maps to see the impact of vaccines on global health.
Nucleic acids are one of the most fundamental units of biological research. The genes coded for in DNA or RNA are integral to many research projects. Many bench methods exist for extraction of nucleic acids, but all are labour intensive and can be technically demanding. New automated solutions allow for high quality extraction of DNA or RNA, with the ability to process up to 96 samples at a time and minimal hands on time. The Jenner Institute have now launched a new Small Research Facility with the Qiagen QiaSymphony SP and Agilent Tapestation 2200 for the use of Jenner Investigators and other Oxford University researchers and external collaborators.
Jenner researcher Dr Teresa Lambe has joined the University's new Innovation Champions initiative. As a Champion, Teresa will help improve the landscape for innovation and entrepreneurial activities within the Medical Sciences Division. Champions act as a first point of contact for colleagues interested in commercialising their ideas or expertise, or developing links with industry, whether through consulting or research collaboration.
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.
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