Since 2017, VALIDATE has been working with our members to accelerate vaccine development for our four focus pathogens, and to support career development for our members - especially Early Career Researchers and those based in LMICs. Here you can find out more about some of our, and our members', successes.
VALIDATE symposium leads to first melioidosis vaccine trial
Initial discussions at a 2018 VALIDATE Annual Meeting were moved into targeted discussions at a 2019 workshop concentrating on how to move melioidosis vaccines from animal studies to human clinical trials. A new UK-USA-Thailand collaboration was formed, linking lab-based vaccine developers with clinical trial researchers and facilities, successfully gaining £3.2m MRC DPFS (plus further DTRA) funding for the first ever human clinical trial of a melioidosis vaccine.
VALIDATE training grants build research capacity in the next generation of vaccine researchers
VALIDATE has awarded 26 training grants (upto £3k each) to early career researchers (ECRs) to enable them to capitalise on a professional development opportunity. As just one example, leishmaniasis researcher Dr Eduardo Ramos Sanchez (USP, Brazil) visited Oxford University for Mycobacterial Growth Inhibition Assay (MGIA) training. His visit provided opportunities for both sides to learn and consider future TB-leishmaniasis collaborative work, and Eduardo's home lab in Brazil has since obtained a license to work with mycobacteria.
VALIDATE Fellowships support future research leaders
VALIDATE used £275k to fund two Fellowships for promising ECRs. One of these awards, to Dr Jomien Mouton (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) enabled her to push for full employment at SU (not usual for post-docs), supported her through maternity leave that would otherwise have been unpaid, and helped her establish new collaborations and further funding. "Receiving the VALIDATE Fellowship has had a tremendous impact on my research and career", she says.
Equipment donation builds research capacity in Uganda
VALIDATE runs an equipment donation scheme where surplus equipment can be donated to LMIC members' laboratories. In 2018, a Bactec MGIT machine was donated to researchers at the MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Institute by University of Oxford and APHA. The machine has greatly improved the Unit's capacity to perform mycobacterial culture for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and experimental assays, creating several new collaborative opportunities for the Uganda team.