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University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is routinely ranked amongst the top 5 institutions in the world for biomedical science. The Jenner Institute, where Professor Hanke and his team conduct their research, is part of the University’s Medical Science Division. The main tasks undertaken that led to the initiation of the GREAT programme were the design and construction of a vaccine that stimulates cytotoxic T-cell responses to a broad range of HIV-1 variants. In GREAT, the team will lead and coordinate the overall programme and partnership. The University also contributes in-kind support for the programme.

Contact: Tomáš Hanke

Imperial College London

The Department of Medicine at Imperial College London is one of the largest teaching and research organizations in the UK. Part of this department, and based at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, is the Human Immunology Laboratory (HIL), a collaboration between Imperial College London and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. The HIL serves as a hub for AIDS vaccine development partnerships. The lab is a GCLP accredited laboratory performing immunological assays on samples from the largest worldwide HIV vaccine trial network, to assess the efficacy of candidate HIV vaccines. The team also develops novel assays for more comprehensive evaluation of immune responses to HIV vaccine candidates. In GREAT, in collaboration with the Africa research partners, the HIL will support the clinical evaluation of the vaccine candidate, including by applying a novel assay, the viral inhibition assay (VIA), and manage related technology transfer to the Africa partners.

Contact: Alethea Cope


Founded in 1996, IAVI (formerly the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative) is a nonprofit organization working to accelerate the development of broadly effective AIDS vaccines accessible to all. IAVI works in 25 countries to research, design, and develop promising vaccine candidates, collaborating with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, universities, hospitals, civil society organizations, and governments. IAVI conducts research at laboratories in North America, Europe, Africa, and India. IAVI supports 8 research centers in Eastern and Southern Africa for the research and clinical assessment of vaccines against strains of HIV that are prevalent in the developing world where most new infections occur. IAVI’s work is made possible by the generous support from governments, foundations, corporations, and individual donations. The full list of IAVI donors is available at In GREAT, IAVI will provide in-kind support for the conduct of the clinical trial (including medical and operational monitoring) and related capacity building and community engagement. The organization will also lead the communications activities for the project.

Contact: Pat Fast and Hester Kuipers

KAVI-Institute of Clinical Research(KAVI-ICR)

KAVI-ICR (formerly the Kenyan AIDS Vaccine Initiative-Institute of Clinical Research) was established in 1998 through a collaboration between the University of Nairobi (UON), the University of Oxford, and IAVI with the aim of conducting HIV vaccine clinical trials and basic science. By 2013, KAVI had become the KAVI-Institute of Clinical Research (KAVI-ICR) and had successfully conducted several HIV vaccine clinical trials, drug trials, and epidemiological and basic science research projects.  KAVI-ICR operates within the UON College of Health Sciences and has the mission to discover, apply, and disseminate knowledge through creative and innovative health research and carries out this work in collaboration with a wide range of regional and international partners. KAVI-ICR also works to support the continued development of research capacity in the East African region by providing training in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP). Within GREAT, KAVI-ICR will serve as the primary coordinating center for the phase 2a trial to evaluate the mosaic vaccine candidate. The institute will also conduct important engagement work with communities at high risk of HIV infection.

Contact: Walter Jaoko

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, established in 1989 as a partnership between KEMRI, the University of Oxford, and the Wellcome Trust. The Centre conducts basic science, epidemiological, and clinical research with the results of this research being used to inform local and international health policy. KEMRI-Wellcome has conducted pioneering research, defining risks of HIV infection in men who have sex with men and male sex workers, and has developed novel interventions that reduce stigma in the delivery of health care and HIV services. In GREAT, KEMRI-Wellcome will be one of the clinical trial research centers for the phase 2a trial to evaluate the mosaic vaccine candidate, and they will continue their engagement work in MSM communities along the coast of Kenya.

Contact: Eduard Sanders

The MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit(MRC/UVRI & LSHTM)

The MRC/UVRI and LHSTM Uganda Research Unit is an institution of the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), integrated into the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). The Unit’s mission is to conduct research on HIV and related infections in order to facilitate their control in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa. Since its formation, the Unit has maintained a strong focus on HIV research activities in the field of epidemiology, clinical medicine, virology, immunology, HIV treatment, and social science research, many of these conducted in collaboration with international partners. As part of a previously EDCTP-funded project, the institute has been a key partner in characterizing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in fishing communities, demonstrating that this is a large, at-risk and marginalized population with limited access to health care and HIV services and with HIV rates that are 4-5 times higher than in the general population. As part of GREAT, the Unit will be one of the clinical trial research centres for phase 2a trial to evaluate the mosaic vaccine candidate and will also support the participation of the Lake Victoria Consortium for Health Research (LVCHR) with the aim of building upon the LVCHR’s engagement with marginalized fishing communities in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Contact: Pontiano Kaleebu


The UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program was formed in 2001 as a result of the partnership between the IAVI and the Government of Uganda. Initially developed as a phase 1 vaccine clinical trial unit, over the years the programme has evolved to conduct epidemiological studies and basic science in addition to engaging high-risk populations in preparation for future large scale HIV prevention intervention studies. The UVRI-IAVI program is based on the campus of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) which is the research arm of the Uganda Ministry of Health.  The Program’s mission is to conduct research, capacity building, and advocacy that will further the contributions of Uganda to the global search for an AIDS vaccine. UVRI-IAVI was a key partner in the EDCTP1 project which identified Lake Victoria fishing communities as a population with some of the highest HIV-1 rates in the region. The Program has since carried out extensive community outreach work and is a member of the Lake Victoria Consortium for Health Research. In GREAT, UVRI-IAVI will establish a community-based clinical hub on a remote island in order to ensure future preparedness for vaccine clinical trials and to provide infrastructure for the delivery of health care and HIV services.

Contact: Brenda Okech

Center for Family Health Research in Zambia (CFHRZ)

The Center for Family Health Research in Zambia (formerly Zambia-Emory HIV Research Project (ZEHRP)) was established in 1994 and is recognized for its efforts to provide high-quality couples voluntary counseling and testing services (CVCT) as a means of preventing new HIV infections and also as an entry point to participate in HIV prevention research. To date, CFHRZ has sorted more than 70 government clinics in three provinces to host active CVCT programs reaching 50,000 couples per year. Since 2004, CFHRZ has participated in multiple clinical research trials including phase 1, 2, and 3 trials of behavioral and biomedical prevention interventions. CFHRZ now has 5 sites in Zambia, which include a mobile unit. Current research at CFHRZ engages women at high risk of HIV infection and strengthens their access to services. In GREAT, CFHRZ will be one of the centers conducting the phase 2a trial. In preparation, capacity will be strengthened for community engagement, and their clinical trial infrastructure will be further strengthened.

Contact: William Kilembe