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Ekta Mukhopadhyay

Post Doctoral Scientist in Pre-erythrocytic Malaria vaccines

Vaccination with Virus-like particles (VLPs) have demonstrated promising results for a number of viral diseases and have been translated into licensed vaccines for human use. Recent advances in the field of vaccines for complex infectious parasitic diseases like malaria have been possible by VLP based subunit vaccines like R21, achieving the efficacy target set by WHO.

I have been involved in vaccine research for over 10 years working on adenoviral (ChAd63 and ChAdOx1) and Virus-like particle vaccines for infectious diseases like malaria, HIV, influenza and zika. My past experience of working on process development, production and quality assessment of these vaccines made me curious about pre-clinical vaccine development which I was able to study during my DPhil in Clinical Medicine at the Jenner Institute. I have been a part of the Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility team and involved in process development and production of the first batch of the R21 vaccine for the Phase I clinical trial that has now advanced into Phase III trials.

During my DPhil, I have explored and assessed new malaria vaccine candidates for immunogenicity and efficacy that have provided promising results to progress into clinical trials along with investigating into alternative vaccination strategies for malaria vaccination. During this time, I got an opportunity to be a part of the Oxford/AZ ChAdOx1 nCov-19 coronavirus vaccine and R21 vaccine clinical trials.