Vaccines — Introduction

The Vaccines theme is developing new innovative vaccines against several major infections that cause serious illness or death, and is currently carrying out clinical trials to test these. We are especially interested in meningitis, influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

Our specific aims are:

1. To take a new candidate group B meningococcal vaccine beyond Phase I clinical trials into further clinical development, and to investigate improved methods of antigen delivery through new vectored approaches.

2. To develop a new deployable influenza vaccine that will have significant protective efficacy against all influenza strains, by inducing both cellular immunity against internal antigens and protective antibodies.

3. To direct novel approaches to vaccine scheduling or adjuvant usage to specifically enhance immune responses at the extremes of age, by examining how age and immunological environment affects the phenotype of the immune response to vaccines, and to identify the genetic and phenotypic markers of a good immune response.

4. Develop a new generation of T cell based vaccines targeting HIV, tuberculosis and malaria using the Theme’s leading position in vaccine development, in order to provide new vaccines against these major causes of mortality to people in the UK and elsewhere.

5. Develop a vaccine advocacy and engagement research unit with the aim of directing a social science programme to investigate public knowledge and attitudes surrounding immunisation, and use the evidence to develop novel approaches to communicate issues of vaccine safety and effectiveness.

See Key Studies for more information.