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Sean Elias


Post-doctoral Scientist & Public Engagement with Research Leader

  • My role as Public Engagement with Research Leader is to take the science of the Jenner Institute from the lab to the public. This has many forms from talks at schools, live events at various science museums and onlien education resources such as those found on the engagement pages of this website. I am also involved with outreach and accessibility, providing careers talks and advice for schools and students. The final part of my role is communications and media outreach in collaboration with the universities Public Affairs Directorate. I provide science consultation both internally and externally to journalists and news outlets to ensure publications representing the work of the institute are of the highest quality and are scientifically accurate.
  • If you are school or educational outlet I encourage you to email me to request more information about how I can bring our work at the Jenner Institute to you.


I completed my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford in 2008 and finished my DPhil in Clinical Medicine at the Jenner Institute in 2014.

The primary aim of my DPhil project was to describe the induction and maintenance of B cell responses, including memory B cells (mBC) and antibody secreting cells (ASC), to the candidate blood-stage malaria antigens MSP1 and AMA1 following different vaccine regimens and controlled human malaria infection (CHMI). Interpretations of these data have provided important insights for understanding the similarities and difference between natural exposure, CHMI and vaccination. In my first post-doctoral research position following my DPhil I continued in the malaria field, looking firstly into the importance of peripheral blood T follicular helper (Tfh) cells in the response to vaccination and secondly at isolating and characterising fully human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from vaccinated volunteers. In this latter area I also branched out into working on Ebola virus disease where there is more of a need for the development of mAbs as therapeutics following the 2014/15 outbreak.

Since May 2016 I have been working with Professor Calman MacLennan on the study of invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease. The focus of this project is trying to get a better understanding on the immunological basis of susceptability of iNTS disease by studying patients in Ghana and Burkina Faso with iNTS disease. The ultimate aim of this research is to use information gained to help develop effective vaccines that protect a broad range of population groups that commonly develop the disease. My current work is in the development of immune assays for characterising innate cells, T cells and antibody responses specific to Salmonella.

I have recently recieved a BactiVac grant to fund a small catalyst study to explore the use of non-invasive methods of measuring antibody responses to non-typhoidal Salmonella to increase patient acceptability and seek to identify comparable signatures to serum-derived antibody responses. Oral-fluid antibody has been successfully measured as an alternative to serum for a number of bacterial and viral antigens and the two responses have often correlated strongly. This alternative method may also provide additional data to support new correlates of protection, susceptibility or carriage, given Salmonella is an orally-ingested pathogen and this is a measure of a relevant mucosal response. This study will take place in both Oxford and Kenya.

Key Publications

Elias SC, Collins KA, Halstead FD, Choudhary P, Bliss CM, Ewer KJ, Sheehy SH, Duncan JA, Nicosia A, Hill AV, Draper SJ. Analysis of B cell Responses to Blood-Stage Malaria Antigens in Humans Following Immunisation with Candidate Vaccines and Controlled Human Malaria Infection. Immunology. 2014 Apr;141(4):628-44

Elias SC, Collins KA, Halstead FD, Choudhary P, Bliss CM, Ewer KJ, Sheehy SH, Duncan JA, Hill AV, Draper SJ. Assessment of Immune Interference, Antagonism and Diversion following Human Immunization with Bi-Allelic Blood Stage Malaria Viral Vectored Vaccines and Controlled Malaria Infection. J Immunol. 2013 Feb;190(3). 

Hodgson SH, Choudhary P, Elias SC, Milne KH, Rampling TW, Biswas S, Poulton ID, Miura K, Douglas AD, Alanine DG, Illingworth JJ, de Cassan SC, Zhu D, Nicosia A, Long CA, Moyle S, Berrie E, Lawrie AM, Wu Y, Ellis RD, Hill AV, Draper SJ. Combining Viral Vectored and Protein-in-adjuvant Vaccines Against the Blood-stage Malaria Antigen AMA1: Report on a Phase 1a Clinical Trial. Mol Ther. 2014 Aug 26.

Sheehy SH, Duncan JA, Elias SC, Choudhary P, Biswas S, Halstead FD, Collins KA, Edwards NJ, Douglas AD, Anagnostou NA, Ewer KJ, Havelock T, Mahungu T, Bliss CM, Miura k, Poulton ID, Lillie PJ, Antrobus RD, Berrie E, Moyle S, Gantlett K, Colloca S, Cortese R, Long CA, Sinden RE, Murphy JR, Gilbert SC, Lawrie AM, Doherty T, Faust SN, Hill AV, Draper SJ. Adenovirus-MVA based Blood Stage Malaria Vaccines Targeting MSP1 and AMA1: Assesment of Efficacy against Mosquito-Bite Challenge in Humans. Mol Ther. 2012 Dec;20(12):2355-68.