Annual Meeting & Conference

The VALIDATE Network has held an Annual Meeting every year from 2017 to give all its members a chance to connect, network, build new collaborations and hear about great science in our field. These meetings are open to all VALIDATE members; members from Academia, Industry, Government Bodies and Non-governmental Agencies are all welcome. Attendance at the Annual Meeting is free.


2019 - ECR Workshop, 3rd Annual Meeting, & Open Conference

30 September - 3 October 2019

In 2019, the VALIDATE Annual Meeting will run in conjunction with an Early Career Researcher Workshop and an open Scientific Conference at The Drum at Wembley, London.


bsi logo

We are delighted to announce that the British Society for Immunology (BSI) will be co-hosting our open Conference 'Vaccine Development for Neglected Intracellular Pathogens' (2-3 October) with us.


validate annual


ECR workshop "Post-doc'ing for Success 2" (For VALIDATE Associate and Affiliate members only)

Monday 30 September (full day)


3rd VALIDATE Annual Meeting (VALIDATE members only)

Tuesday 1 October (full day) and Wednesday 2 October (morning)


VALIDATE-BSI 2019 Conference: Vaccine Development for Neglected Intracellular Pathogens (open to all)

Wednesday 2 October (afternoon) and Thursday 3 October (full day)       

         Keynote speakers:

                     Prof Clare Lloyd (Imperial College London)

                     Prof Tracy Hussell (University of Manchester)

                     Dr January Weiner (Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology)

                     Prof Stephen Gordon (University College Dublin)

                     Assoc Prof Paul Brett (University of Nevada, Reno)

                     Prof Mark Hatherill (University of Cape Town)


To find out more about the programme, speakers, venue, and how to register, please see the relevant sections below. Please email any further queries to our Management Team at


You can hear what our members think about attending VALIDATE's meetings on our You Tube Channel.

Date: 30 September 2019

Venue: Boardrooms 3&4, The Drum at Wembley, London

Open to: VALIDATE ECRs (Associate and post-graduate student Affiliate members)


The "Post-doc'ing for Success 2" workshop aims to help VALIDATE Early Career Researchers widen and improve non-technical skills necessary to progress their careers. This is a small, informal workshop, which will provide lots of opportunity to get to know fellow VALIDATE post-docs/post-grads from around the world, who are your potential future collaborators! The workshop will be run as part of the VALIDATE Network 2019 Annual Meeting, which follows (and to which you are also invited) on 1-2 October 2019 at the same venue. Attendance at both this workshop and the Annual Meeting is free.


To find out more, and for details of the programme, visit our dedicated workshop page.

To register, complete the form in the 'registration' section on this webpage and submit it to



Date: 1-2 October 2019

Venue: The Grand Hall, The Drum at Wembley, London

Open to: All VALIDATE members


The VALIDATE 3rd Annual Meeting will take place on 1st (all day) and 2nd (morning) of October 2019, and gives VALIDATE members a chance to connect, network, build new collaborations and hear about the great science going on in our field by fellow VALIDATE members. The 2019 Annual Meetings is open (and free) to all VALIDATE members, although places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.


The programme includes updates about the VALIDATE Network and forthcoming grant calls, presentations by our Pump-priming projects to update members on their progress, a keynote speech on 'The industry perspective on vaccine development', talks by research funders to help you find future funding opportunities, and a Q&A session by our funded pump-priming project members so that you can find out how the scheme works and how you can maximise your chances in our 4th call (which will open in July 2019).


In addition, for the evening of the first day, VALIDATE has organised a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the world-class Wembley Stadium for those who are interested. Highlights include the England dressing room, the press conference facilities, the Royal Box and the players’ tunnel. This is at VALIDATE’s costs; you can find out more about the stadium and its history in UK sport and entertainment, including hosting the 2012 London Olympics and FA Cup Finals, here.


You can find out more details about the 3rd Annual Meeting in the 'Programme' section below.


To register for the Annual Meeting (and the ECR Workshop and VALIDATE-BSI 2019 Conference) complete the form in the 'registration' section below.


Date: 2-3 October 2019

Venue: The Grand Hall, The Drum at Wembley, London

Open to: all


Conference Details

The VALIDATE Network aims to accelerate vaccine development for globally significant diseases caused by complex neglected intracellular pathogens. Our initial focus is on TB, leishmaniasis, melioidosis, and leprosy. We also aim to facilitate continuing professional development (CPD) and career progression among our members, particularly Early Career and LMIC (low and middle income country) Researchers.


Together with the British Society for Immunology (BSI), VALIDATE is hosting an open scientific conference on the 2 Oct (afternoon) and 3 Oct (full day) 2019 on 'Vaccine Development for Neglected Intracellular Pathogens'. This directly follows on from our closed Annual Meeting (1 Oct and morning of 2 Oct) for VALIDATE members.


The conference is open to anyone interested in vaccine R&D for our focus pathogens, and will include presentations by keynote speakers and researchers in the field, a poster session with drinks reception, and a conference dinner. The talks will be grouped around three sessions: ‘Tissue-specific immunity, host-pathogen interactions, macrophages, and the microenvironment’, ‘Biomarkers’ (including omics and Big Data), and ‘’Latest vaccine developments’. You can find out more details in the 'Programme' section below.


How To Register

To register to attend the Conference you need to complete and submit the registration form (found in the 'registration' section below), and pay for your place via Oxford University Stores.


Registration Fees

1. VALIDATE and/or BSI members:

             a. Non-industry members:

                       i. LMIC members – free

                      ii. Non-LMIC members - £50

             b. Industry members - £75

2. Non-members of VALIDATE or BSI - £100




VALIDATE membership is free and open to all. Our vision is to create an engaged and interactive community of researchers to form new cross-pathogen, cross-species and cross-discipline collaborations, generating new ideas, taking advantage of synergies and quickly disseminating lessons learned across the Network. We have >250 members from 42 countries, and anyone whose research can inform vaccine development is welcome. With our OneHealth and interdisciplinary focus, we have members working in basic science, veterinary science, clinical trials, animal models, computer modelling, mathematical modelling, social science, chemistry, diagnostics, epidemiology and more. You can find out more about our members here, and the benefits of membership here. Find out more about VALIDATE, the conference and annual meeting on this website.


bsi logo

The British Society for Immunology's mission is to promote excellence in immunological research, scholarship and clinical practice in order to improve human and animal health. We accomplish this by:

  • Working with our members to support current and future generations of immunologists.
  • Sharing our passion for immunology through meetings, publications and the media.
  • Building up an understanding of our work by engaging with the public and those working in the research and health environments.
  • Working with partners in pursuit of our mission, building on common interests.

Find out more about the benefits available to members of the British Society for Immunology here.

ECR workshop "Post-doc'ing for Success 2"

Monday 30 September (full day)

For VALIDATE Associate and post-graduate student Affiliate members only - for more details click here.



3rd VALIDATE Annual Meeting (VALIDATE members only)

Tuesday 1 October (full day) and Wednesday 2 October (morning)

View the Annual Meeting Programme here.



VALIDATE-BSI 2019 Conference: Vaccine Development for Neglected Intracellular Pathogens (open to all)

Wednesday 2 October (afternoon) and Thursday 3 October (full day)       

View the Conference Programme here.



To register for these meetings, complete the Registration Form in the 'Registration' section below.


Watch clips taken at the VALIDATE 2nd Annual Meeting and ECR Workshop, held in November 2018 in York, to see what our delegates think of the VALIDATE meetings.


**Registration is closed**


How to Register

To register for any of these 2019 meetings, please complete the registration form (below) and email it to the VALIDATE Network Management Team ( Submit just one form to register for all the events you wish to attend.


ECR Workshop and Annual Meeting: Registration for the VALIDATE ECR Workshop and Annual Meeting is free; just submit the Registration form to reserve your place.

VALIDATE-BSI 2019 Conference: To register to attend the VALIDATE-BSI 2019 Conference, submit the Registration Form by email AND pay your registration fee here. NB Your Conference registration is not complete until you have paid your registration fee.


Please note that places on all three events are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. Registration for all three events closed on 6 September 2019 and we cannot accept registrations after this date.


If you are not yet a member of VALIDATE and would like to join, you can apply for membership (which is free) via our joining webpage. You can register for the ECR workshop and/or Annual Meeting while your membership application is still in progress.

Registration Documents

Pay for your Conference place here.

**Abstract applications closed on 17 July - congratulations to those awarded with a talk or poster!**


The VALIDATE-BSI 2019 Conference will run from 2-3 October 2019 in London at the Wembley Drum.


We are aiming to have two keynote speakers, plus 3-4 abstract-submitted speakers, per session to provide a wide-ranging and interesting line-up for our delegates, with the talk topics within or linked to the VALIDATE remit. Abstracts are welcomed for the following sessions:



  1. Session 1: Tissue-specific immunity, host-pathogen interactions, macrophages and the microenvironment – 2nd October afternoon

         These will be 15 minute presentations, with 5 minutes afterwards for questions.


  1. Session 2: Biomarkers (including omics and Big Data) – 3rd October morning

         These will be 15 minute presentations, with 5 minutes afterwards for questions.


  1. Session 3: Latest vaccine developments – 3rd October afternoon

         These will be 15 minute presentations, with 5 minutes afterwards for questions


  1. Poster session – 2nd October evening

         Posters will be up from lunchtime on the 2nd October, with the Showcase over drinks that evening.



To submit an abstract for the VALIDATE-BSI 2019 conference, please complete the relevant sections of the form below and email it to our Network Management Team at by the closing date. Please stick to word limits where they are stated. Applications will go to the VALIDATE Network Management Board for competitive review in their July meeting.


Abstract Application Documents

As part of our remit to build vaccine research capacity in LMICs and to increase collaborations across continents, VALIDATE provides around seven travel scholarships each year to enable LMIC Investigator and Associate Network members to attend the Annual Meeting (including the ECR workshop and VALIDATE-BSI Conference in 2019).


Up to £3000 per person is available via competitive application to the Network Management Board (NMB). We particularly welcome applications from Early Career Researcher Associate VALIDATE members who do not have their own funding available. If you have received a VALIDATE travel scholarship previously, you are still eligible to apply in 2019.


Applications for the Travel Scholarships closed on 17 July 2019 - congratulations to the following successful recipients:


  • Asst Prof Vijay Prajapati, Central University of Rajasthan, India
  • Asst Prof Lok Bahadur Shrestha, BPKIHS, Nepal
  • Dr Olayinka Osuolale, Elizade University, Nigeria
  • Dr Federico Carlos Blanco, National Institute of Agricultural Technology, Argentina
  • Assoc Prof Narisara Chantratita, Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Dr Panjaporn Chaichana, Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Asst Prof Kiran Afshan, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan
  • Dr Abhishek Mandal, ICMR-Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, India
  • Dr Chidchamai Kewcharoenwong, Khon Kaen University, Thailand
  • Dr Fatoumatta Darboe, MRC The Gambia Unit at LSHTM, The Gambia
  • Asst Prof Tufária Mussá, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
  • Dr Eduardo Milton Ramos Sanchez, USP, Brazil
  • Dr Suwarti, EOCRU, Indonesia
  • Dr Anthony Afum-Adjei Awuah, KCCR, Ghana



Travel Scholarship Application Documents

The 2019 ECR Workshop, Annual Meeting and VALIDATE-BSI Conference will all be held at The Drum at Wembley, London, UK. The Venue has excellent public transport links - for more information about the venue, how to get there, and for accommodation suggestions, please see our 'Visiting London' guide below:




VALIDATE 2nd Annual Meeting: 5-7 Nov 2018

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group photo


Venue: The Principal York Hotel, York, UK

Date: 9am Tuesday 6th Nov to 1pm on Wednesday 7th Nov 2018


Meeting Report

Read the meeting report here.



Watch clips taken at the 2nd Annual Meeting and ECR Workshop along with some comments from delegates.


2nd validate annual meeting

VALIDATE offers around ~7 travel scholarships each year for LMIC Investigator/Associate members to attend our Annual Meeting.

In 2018 VALDATE awarded 9 travel scholarships to members from Thailand, Nepal, Nigeria, Brazil, and Mozambique.




VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting: 5&6 Sept 2017, Oxford

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St Hilda's College


Venue: Jacqueline du Pre Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford OX4 1DY, UK

Date:  12 noon on Tuesday 5th Sept to 2pm on Wed 6th Sept


Meeting Report

The British ‘summer’ was in full raining force on the 5th September 2017, but no one allowed this to dampen their spirits for the VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, UK. This was a fantastic opportunity for our members all to meet face-to-face, many of us for the first time, and we were all going to take advantage of this useful and interesting opportunity! With 38 delegates from five countries present (UK, India, Brazil, Thailand, and Uganda) there were plenty of people from a wide range of research areas and institutes to meet, which was a great representation from across the Network for our first meeting.


VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting


The Annual Meeting started with the chance to catch up with other members of the Network over a buffet lunch before Prof Helen McShane, the VALIDATE Network Director (University of Oxford), kicked off the meeting in the main Auditorium, with a brief welcome to our members. She went on to explain VALIDATE in detail – our focus, expected outputs, and vision – giving everyone a chance to more fully understand what VALIDATE aims to do over its initial MRC-funded three years. An overview of our membership numbers and names revealed that we have already grown by 18 members, 3 institutes, and 1 LMIC country since our original MRC application, which was great news in such a short time. Helen highlighted that the Network is currently slightly TB-researcher dominant, something that perhaps reflects disease burden and the funding available for each pathogen worldwide. This is something that we would like to remedy as VALIDATE grows, and members were asked to mention VALIDATE to their collaborators and research group members (especially post-docs and students) and encourage them to join the Network.

Prof Helen McShane opens the VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting

Prof Helen McShane opens the VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting


Dr Martin Broadstock next gave a brief introduction to VALIDATE from the MRC's perspective, putting the GCRF Networks into context and clarifying the Research Council expectations. This was followed by a 15 minute overview of each pathogen, the partners involved in that area, and the challenges and opportunities in each field, with the aim of sparking new collaboration and cross-pathogen synergy ideas within the Network members. Prof Jo Prior from dstl kicked off with Burkholderia pseudomallei, Prof Mitali Chatterjee from IPGMER next covered Leishmania, and Prof Helen McShane followed with TB. Prof Tracy Hussell from University of Manchester presented cross-pathogen members and research, and Associate Prof Helen Fletcher from LSHTM went through ideas from our Social Scientists. These ‘introductions’ formed a great foundation for members to find out about the VALIDATE pathogens outside their normal research area and gave rise to animated cross-pathogen and cross-discipline discussions across the next two days.


Dr Martin Broadstock, MRC

Dr Martin Broadstock, MRC

Assoc Prof Helen Fletcher, LSHTM

Assoc Prof Helen Fletcher, LSHTM


















A highly efficient group photo and quick caffeine refill later, and we were into the first Networking session. The ‘speed dating’ statement in the agenda had had some members worried, but the session proved very successful. Everyone was up on their feet, running around to each station to introduce themselves to different people, and everyone got to meet everyone else and hear a brief tantalising one minute snippet about their research and career path. This event very nicely broke the ice and led to easy discussions over drinks and dinner later on as we all now felt we knew each other and could easily find mutual topics and ideas to talk about and deliberate over. It also sowed the seeds of several new collaborations, which was very exciting.



Fully energised from meeting everybody, it was back to our seats for our three industry partners, Prof Andrzej Kierzek from Certara, Dr Ian Durrant from Oxford Immunotec Ltd, and Prof Mark Coles of SimOmics, to give a short overview of what they bring to the Network, and what they hope to get from being part of VALIDATE. Then Network Manager, Samantha Vermaak, gave a detailed overview of all the opportunities for VALIDATE members, clarifying the various funding calls, the upcoming mentoring scheme, and highlighting VALIDATE’s numerous communication channels. Finally, Associate Prof Helen Fletcher closed the day with a call to arms for Workshop ideas – and then we all headed over to the drinks reception and dinner, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and filled with buzzing conversation.



Day 2 saw Associate Prof Helen Fletcher, Prof Susie Dunachie and Dr Karin Seifert each presenting an exemplar Pump-Priming grant project idea to the VALIDATE Dragons’ Den. Dragons Prof Jo Prior, Dr Rajko Reljic (SGUL), and Prof Helen McShane grilled each project, illustrating what the Network Management Board will be looking for in VALIDATE grant calls. The session was fun and interesting, as well as insightful – and a couple of the projects came out with additional collaborators, offered stored samples, and refined ideas as the audience joined in the questioning and suggestions.



A quick coffee break and we were into the second Networking session – a pump-priming project brainstorming session, first with delegates grouped by pathogen and then with everyone reshuffled for cross-pathogen and cross-discipline discussions. Some great ideas came out of this session, so we look forward to lots of exciting Pump-Priming grant applications when the call opens later this month!


Networking at the Annual Meeting


A final wrap up was followed by a last opportunity to exchange ideas and contact details over lunch before delegates headed home. The Annual Meeting was a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with other VALIDATE members, form new collaborations, spark new research ideas, and have animated discussions about the research field we’re all interested in throughout the two days. There was an energetic buzz throughout the event, so a huge thank you to all our members who joined the VALIDATE first annual meeting and made it a fantastic kick-off to our work together.


“Just wanted to say a big thank you for the conference last week, was genuinely really interesting and inspiring”

“Pleased to be involved - feels like a very positive/exciting network to be part of”


VALIDATE Annual Meeting


Report by Samantha Vermaak

Professional photos by John Cairns



VALIDATE provides around ~7 travel scholarships each year for LMIC members to attend our Annual Meeting. 

In 2017, three scholarships were awarded, to members from Uganda, Brazil and Thailand. 


For any queries regarding our Annual Meetings, please contact our VALIDATE Network Management Team on:

  • Email:    
  • Tel:                  +44 (0)1865 611428


The Drum at Wembley



The Grand Hall



The Winter Garden





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