Management Team

VALIDATE Management Team

VALIDATE's Management Team oversee the direction, delivery and day-to-day running of the Network, liaising closely with the Network Management Board, the Scientific Advisory Board, and our funders.


Helen McShane

Prof Helen McShane - VALIDATE Director

Helen is a Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University, where she has led the Jenner Institute’s TB team since 2002. She has conducted clinical trials of candidate TB vaccines, developed both at Oxford and by industry collaborators, in the UK, South Africa, Uganda, Senegal and The Gambia, including the first modern efficacy trial of a candidate TB vaccine (MVA85A). As VALIDATE Director she leads the strategic and scientific direction of the Network, chairing the Network Management Board. You can read more about Helen's research interests here.



Samantha Sampson

Prof Samantha Sampson - VALIDATE Co-Director

Sam is Principal Investigator in Mycobacteriology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her group has an interest in host-pathogen interactions, and aims to gain a better understanding of how the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis interacts with its host to cause disease, using molecular mycobacteriology and in vivo and in vitro infection models together with data-rich methodologies.  As VALIDATE Co-Director she leads the strategic and scientific direction of the Network with Helen and Helen. You can read more about Sam's research interests here.



Samantha Vermaak

Samantha Vermaak - Co-Investigator and Executive Manager, VALIDATE Network 

Sam is the VALIDATE Executive Manager, based at University of Oxford. Previously the Jenner Institute’s TB Vaccine Programme Manager, she has extensive experience in project management, managing clinical trials in the UK and overseas, research grant financial management, working with industry partners, and managing Consortiums. Sam manages the running of the VALIDATE Network and its activities, so do get in contact with any queries about VALIDATE. Find out more about Sam here. +44 (0)1865 611428  LinkedIn




Blakeley Nixon

Blakeley Nixon - VALIDATE Communications and Events Coordinator

Blakeley is the VALIDATE Communications and Events Coordinator, based at University of Oxford. He has previously worked in a number of roles in the education and charity sector including as a community coordinator at Humanists UK and managing commemorative events with the Royal British Legion. Blakeley works with Sam Vermaak on VALIDATE’s communications and its events programme. If you have any questions relating to Events or Communications, do get in touch with Blakeley.      LinkedIn



Sola Adewumi

Adesola Adewumi - VALIDATE Junior Project Manager

Sola is the VALIDATE Network Junior Project Manager, based at University of Oxford. He has previously worked in a number of temporary roles in the University, recently as a Clinical Trials Administrator for the Clinical Trial Service Unit within the Nuffield Department of Population Health. He’s involved in different voluntary work for Primary Health Care/Community Aid and young people mentorship within Ondo and Oyo states of Nigeria. Sola works with Sam Vermaak on VALIDATE programmes. If you have any questions relating to projects and programmes within VALIDATE, do get in touch with Sola.