VALIDATE is an international network of vaccine researchers focused on four pathogens causing diseases with significant impact on low and middle-income countries: tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, melioidosis and leprosy. Our seminars highlight some of the important research being undertaken by our extensive community of researchers. We will put details of any upcoming seminars on this page.

VALIDATE Seminars 2024

We will be in touch soon with details of our first Seminars of 2024.

Past VALIDATE 2024 Seminars

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Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania parasites exhibits a wide range of clinical manifestations. Although parasites influence disease severity, cytolytic CD8 T cell responses mediate disease. While these responses originate in the lymph node, we find that expression of the cytolytic effector molecule granzyme B is restricted to lesional CD8 T cells in Leishmania-infected mice, suggesting that local cues within inflamed skin induce cytolytic function. We recently found that Leishmania-infected lesions are hypoxic, and that the recruitment of neutrophils causes hypoxia. Notably, the hypoxic state of the infected skin results in the expression of granzyme B in CD8 T cells, resulting in more severe disease. Thus, targeting hypoxia-driven signals that support local differentiation of cytolytic CD8 T cells may improve the prognosis for patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis, as well as other inflammatory skin diseases where cytolytic CD8 T cells contribute to pathogenesis.

Register using the online form below.


About the Speaker

Dr Fernanda Novais was born in Brazil, a country where cutaneous leishmaniasis is endemic, and she has studied immunity to cutaneous leishmaniasis in mice and humans for over 20 years. Dr. Novais’ discoveries have led to (i) an understanding of how neutrophil-macrophage crosstalk promotes Leishmania killing, (ii) the identification of monocyte subsets responsible for parasite control, and (iii) a new paradigm in which CD8 T cells are pathogenic rather than protective in cutaneous leishmaniasis. Her lab is currently focused on understanding how the environmental signals from the Leishmania-inflamed skin dictate the function of immune cells.



Recently, there have been strong indications that it is possible to increase the immune response by a second dose of BCG vaccine. Thus, the BCG vaccine re-emerged to be considered based on a significant protective effect of BCG revaccination against TB and supporting its beneficial non-specific, agnostic, or heterologous effects. The latter has also been reported to reduce neonatal sepsis, respiratory tract infections, and all-cause infant mortality. In fact, the past pandemic has stimulated us and other investigators to scrutinize the effect of the BCG vaccine as a strategy to reduce severe COVID-19. Using both wild-type and variant virus sequences, we have gone through several preliminary in silico screenings, such as epitope toxicity, immunogenicity, antigenicity, MHC-I profiles, and positive response employing IFN-g production. Various BCG-vaccination schedules have been reevaluated in recent research clinical trials due to high numbers of TB cases and deaths, but the community still waiting for a convincing response about novel BCG-formulations and BCG-vaccination protocols.

Register using the online form below.


About the Speakers


Prof Paulo Antas is a Professor of Biology and a Senior Researcher. He completed both MSc and PhD at FIOCRUZ, Brazil, He is also working as Editorial Board member and Reviewer for scientific journals. He wrote Book chapters and e-books. In addition, he has been working on innate immune responses against Tuberculosis (TB) in individuals naturally exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis at FIOCRUZ since 2007. Since those years, he has been working in a group that develops research on the field of clinical immune response of vaccinations against human TB, especially in the cellular immunology area. Most of his scientific time is currently dedicated to studying several aspects of in vitro immune response before and after BCG vaccination, such as the involvement of inflammatory cytokines, and T cells on immune response against mycobacteria. As a result, he has accumulated significant data and thus experience in this field. In addition, he spent time working on projects related to biomarker detection in patients with extrapulmonary TB, particularly the pleuritic form, comparing them to those responses among persons with either pulmonary form or other pleural diseases. This work in Pleural TB has provided him with yet another laboratory skill set that has been complementing the skills he has gained in TB immunology thus far.




Thales A Campelo

In 2016, Prof Thales A Campelo graduated in Pharmacy from the Federal University of Ceará (UFC). Additionally, he obtained a specialization in Clinical Microbiology in 2021 and a Master of Science degree in Pathology in 2018, both from Unichristus College in Ceará state (CE). Prof. Campelo's expertise is centered in the field of Microbiology, with a primary focus on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. leprae, HPV, and molecular diagnosis of other infectious diseases, utilizing Multiplexed PCR, Nested PCR, and Real-Time PCR approaches. During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, he worked as a Clinical Analyst Pharmacist, conducting extensive qPCR tests for COVID-19 at FIOTEC/FIOCRUZ in CE. Furthermore, in 2023, Prof. Campelo had the opportunity to supervise Clinical Microbiology, Microbiological Control, and Clinical Analysis Internships in the Pharmacy program at the University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR). Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Pathology at UFC, conducting fundamental research on Sars-CoV-2 peptides intended for use in understanding the human immune response to Sars-CoV-2. In this research project, Prof. Campelo has acquired expertise in bioinformatics during the development of epitope predictions targeted towards both TCD8 and TCD4 immune responses.


Burkholderia pseudomallei, the etiologic agent of melioidosis, causes severe diseases in both humans and animals. Due to its potential misuse as a biological warfare agent, high mortality rates, and resistance to antibiotics, significant efforts have been made in the past decade to develop vaccines against melioidosis. B. pseudomallei produces several polysaccharides on its surface that are important virulence factors and major targets of the immune response. Leveraging their expertise in synthetic carbohydrate chemistry, Charles Gauthier and Maude Cloutier’s group has been at the forefront of developing mimics of the main polysaccharides produced by B. pseudomallei, namely lipopolysaccharide O-antigen (LPS OAg), capsular polysaccharide, and exopolysaccharide.

In this seminar, Charles and Maude describe their endeavor toward the development of semi-synthetic glycoconjugate vaccines against melioidosis, focusing on our most promising results involving B. pseudomallei LPS OAg mimics.


 About the Speakers

Charles Gauthier

Dr Charles Gauthier completed his PhD in natural products chemistry at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (2008), followed by postdoctoral fellowships in carbohydrate chemistry at the Institut Pasteur in Paris (2010) and in chemobiology at the University of Oxford in United Kingdom (2011). After a stint as Maître de Conférences at the Université de Poitiers in France (2011-2016), Dr. Gauthier joined the Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) as Assistant Professor in 2016. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2020 and Full Professor in 2023. His research program mainly focuses on the synthesis of microbial glycans for the development of prophylactic and therapeutic approaches. Dr. Gauthier has published over 55 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters since the start of his career and has supervised/co-supervised the work of over 55 students, trainees, and postdocs. Dr. Gauthier’s research program is funded by several national and international granting agencies, including NSERC, CIHR, NIH, and the Pasteur Network. He has received FRQS salary support as a Junior 2 and Senior Scholar. Dr. Gauthier is an active member of several national and international learned societies, including Oxford University’s VALIDATE network, GlycoNet, CRIPA, RISUQ, CISD, and CERMO-FC.

maude clotier

Dr Maude Cloutier obtained her BSc in chemistry from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) in 2018 working under the guidance of Pr. Gervais Bérubé in the aim of developing new therapeutic compounds against pathological inflammation. Maude was awarded MSc scholarships from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Nature et Technologies (FRQNT) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) allowing her to pursue her studies in Pr. Gauthier’s group at Institut national de la recherche scientifiques (INRS) in Laval, Canada. In 2023, she completed her PhD as a Vanier Scholar in Pr. Gauthier’s group and is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow. Maude's work focuses on the total synthesis of bacterial mono- and oligosaccharide mimics as potential therapeutics and prophylactics. 



The recent COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that a lot could be gained from decentralised vaccine development. Also, many diseases are localized to Low and Middle Income Countries, especially in tropical regions. However, research in immunobiologicals is costly and requires infrastructure and collaborations that are scarce in poorer countries. In this seminar Breno Beirão explores two important question, how should we tackle this, and if so, how and should we leave it in favour of investing in more basic needs of these poor communities? 

Register using the online form below.


About the Speaker

Breno Castello Branco Beirao

Adjunct Professor Breno Castello Branco Beirão earned his Veterinary Medicine degree from the Federal University of Paraná in 2009, followed by a master's degree in Microbiology, Parasitology, and Pathology from the same university in 2011. He successfully completed his Ph.D. at the Roslin Institute/University of Edinburgh. Breno specializes in various fields, including the immune system, flow cytometry, molecular biology, basic and applied immunology, and the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

Currently, his research focuses on producing vaccines for zoonotic diseases such as ovine Orf virus, Sporothrix brasiliensis, and addressing the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19.




In 2022, VALIDATE initiated the project: “Develop novel test for PKDL/Leprosy diagnosis”. This project, led by Prof Chatterjee, aims to address the challenge of post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) in South-East Asia. PKDL cases can harbor parasites, perpetuating the transmission cycle of the disease. The team plans to develop a field-applicable diagnostic tool, building on a validated isothermal amplification-based assay. Additionally, considering the clinical overlap between PKDL and leprosy, the project includes the development of a combined diagnostic test for both diseases. The ultimate goal is to provide a cost-effective, point-of-care diagnostic tool that can aid in monitoring and treating these neglected tropical diseases, contributing to the Kala Azar Elimination Programme and WHO Global Leprosy Strategy.

In this seminar, Mitali and Ahmed will discuss the PKDL and Leprosy field assays developed by the project and dig into the underlying science.

Register using the online form below.


About the Speakers

Mitali Chatterjee

Prof Mitali Chatterjee  is a Professor of Pharmacology at IPGMER, Kolkata, India. Mitali specializes in immunopharmacology with a focus on Leishmaniasis. Her research group has developed DNA-based assays for PKDL diagnosis and plays a central role in West Bengal's Leishmaniasis surveillance, contributing vital information on parasite load for measuring treatment effectiveness.

Ahmed Abd El Wahed

Dr Ahmed Abd El Wahed, received his PhD in biology from Goettingen University, Germany in 2011. He established a mobile suitcase laboratory for the rapid detection of viruses, bacteria, and parasites. His model has been deployed in several African and Asian countries. He also has a focus on epitope mapping after immunisation and vaccination to identify the best candidate for vaccines using microarrays.


VALIDATE 2023 Seminars

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Seminar Three took place on Tuesday, December 13, 2023, at 10:00 GMT.

  1. The Role of Vaccination in Controlling Animal TB with Prof. Eamonn Gormley, UCD, Ireland
    In the context of One Health epidemiology for M. bovis infection, managing wild animals' involvement can be challenging, often involving segregation, test-and-cull, or enhanced biosecurity. Vaccination, such as the BCG vaccine, shows promise in reducing tuberculosis burden in wildlife, as seen in badger vaccination in Ireland and the UK. In this talk, Eamonn discusses the challenges of managing wild animals' involvement in the One Health epidemiology of M. bovis infection, highlighting vaccination as a promising strategy, as exemplified by badger vaccination in Ireland and the UK.
  2. Tip of the Iceberg: TB in South African Wildlife with Prof. Michele Miller, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
    Michele provided an overview of TB in wildlife in the South African context. Using a One Health approach, this talk will cover some of the underlying issues contributing to TB presence and spread within wildlife and at human-livestock-wildlife-environmental interfaces.

Seminar Two took place on Zoom, 23 November 2023 at 14:00 GMT.

There were two fascinating talks:

  1. Solutions against infectious diseases in indigenous population: inter-cultural challenges in One Health with Dr Juan Dib, Universidad del Norte, Colombia
    Juan investigates the intercultural challenges in implementing One Health solutions against infectious diseases in indigenous populations. He highlights the fundamental differences in the worldview of health and disease between indigenous societies, which view health holistically, and Western medicine's reductionist approach. Juan also examines the need for improved research efforts and surveillance programmes that are tailored to remote indigenous communities to better identify disease burdens and promote public health action.

  2. Impact and solutions to inequitable health care infrastructure on TB in Madagascar with Dr Niaina Rakotosamimanana, Pasteur Institute of Madagascar. In this talk, Niaina addresses strategies to improve TB care and obtain epidemiological information in remote areas of Madagascar, including the use of new technologies, instructional videos, medication reminders, remote monitoring, and even drones for samples and treatment transportation, all of which aim to enhance patient education, adherence, and symptom monitoring.

About the Speakers

Juan Dib

Dr Juan Dib is a Research Professor at the Universidad del Norte, Colombia.

For more than 20 years Juan has been dedicated to the integral study of tropical diseases, parasitology and infectious diseases in rural and remote areas of Colombia with indigenous populations. He has experience teaching PhD students, developing fieldwork with communities and doing surveillance of infectious diseases. Juan also has expertise in determining transmission dynamics of infectious diseases by molecular epidemiological studies and POCT in rural remote areas.

niaina rakotosamimanana

Dr Niaina Rakotosamimanana is the Head of the Mycobacteriology Unit at the Pasteur Institute of Madagascar.

Niaina has been working on TB at the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar since 2010. He is currently leading a TB research program which includes translational and operational research programs that aimed to develop new TB diagnostic tools and perform drug resistance surveillance in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Control Program of Madagascar. 


In September 2023, members of the VALIDATE network and subject matter experts from around the world convened in Paarl, South Africa, to explore the application of the One Health model in the development of vaccines for Tuberculosis (TB) and Leishmaniasis. The One Health model was an interdisciplinary approach that acknowledged the interrelationships between human health, animal health, and environmental health.

During the workshop, valuable presentations were delivered by VALIDATE members, and we were pleased to share these insights with the broader VALIDATE Community with a series of Online Seminars.

Seminar One took place on Zoom, 15 November 2023, 15:00 GMT.

  • How to Win at Hide and Seek: Utilizing Omic Approaches to Identify and Target Neglected Pathogens by Dr. Richard Burchmore, University of Glasgow.
    In the talk, Richard will outline the opportunities and limitations of Omic approaches and give some examples of how they can be applied in the diagnosis and control of NTDs.
  • Unforeseen Ramifications of Antimicrobial Usage: A Case Study on Antimony by Dr. Maria Adelaida Gomez, CIDIEM.
    In this talk, Adelaida will reflect on the unexpected impacts of antileishmanial use in the context of water pollution and cultural practices in endemic populations. This will lead the way to discussing challenges and opportunities for control of leishmaniasis, under the umbrella of human, animal and environmental health.

About the Speakers

Richard Burchmore

Dr Richard Burchmore is the Head of Proteomics & Senior Lecturer in Parasitology, University of Glasgow, UK.

Richard has been a leishmaniac since his undergraduate research project back in 1988. His research primarily centers around host: pathogen interactions, with a special emphasis on the role of parasite nutrient transporters. A significant portion of Richard’s work involves leveraging mass spectrometry for proteomic and metabolomic analyses.

maria adelaida gomez

Dr Maria Adelaida Gomez is a Scientist and Coordinator at CIDEIM in Colombia.

Adelaida focuses on investigating host-pathogen interactions and mechanisms impacting the clinical and therapeutic outcomes of human infections with intracellular protozoan parasites. Her work on cutaneous leishmaniasis informs translational research in intracellular and neglected infectious diseases and the development of tools for therapeutic evaluation and host immunomodulation.


Took place online, 15:00 BST, 4 July 2023


Two fascinating presentations by two VALIDATE members from St George's, University of London focused on the development of a potential Spore-FP1 vaccine for tuberculosis (TB). Prof Rajko Reljic examined the Spore-FP1 mucosal vaccine candidate based on the fusion protein of Ag85B-Acr-HBHA/heparin-binding domain adsorbed on the surface of inactivated Bacillus subtilis spores. The vaccine candidate demonstrated significant protection in mice and guinea pigs when used as a mucosal boost to BCG but did not improve the efficacy of BCG alone in NHP. Mr Emil Vergara then explored the potential of two subunit vaccine candidates, Spore-FP1 and Nano-FP1, as post-exposure TB vaccines in mice with pre-existing lung mycobacterial immunity elicited with Mycobacterium bovis BCG. Results showed an increasing trend in the frequency of tissue-resident memory T cells, antigen-specific effector CD4 and CD8 T cells, and mucosal and systemic antibody responses among mice that received candidate vaccines.


Took place Online, 13:00 BST, 29 June 2023 

In this talk, Dr Yumiko Tsikamoto discussed her innovative research which has led to the development of a recombinant BCG vaccine against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This novel vaccine features MTB-derived MMP-II and has been further modified by depleting the UreC gene, which stimulates phagosome-lysosome fusion in host cells infected with the recombinant BCG. Yimko will discus results from in vivo experiments that used a mouse model and show that this vaccine inhibits the multiplication of M. tuberculosis in the lungs much more efficiently than the traditional host BCG. Remarkably, the research team also achieved the development of an antibiotics-free recombinant BCG, utilizing cutting-edge auxotrophy-based recombination techniques. These groundbreaking findings represent a major advancement in the ongoing global effort to combat tuberculosis.

In this seminar, Dr Apichai Tuanyok discussed his team’s multidisciplinary research to investigate the epidemiology of melioidosis in southern Thailand. 

The seminar took place via Zoom on 22 February 2023 at 15:00 GMT.

Video coming soon -  

For our first VALIDATE Event of 2023, we hosted an exciting double bill: Two talks, covering two pathogens, from two VALIDATE members at the Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunisia. 

You can watch the two talks below:

Targeting FOXO3 transcription factor as a Host-Directed approach to enhance the efficacy of BCG against Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
with Prof Makram Essafi

Professor Makram Essafi will speak about his work on targeting the FOXO3 transcription factor as a host-directed approach to enhance the efficacy of BCG against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Vaccine against Human Leishmaniasis: Institut Pasteur de Tunis Contribution
with Prof Dhafer Laouini

In this seminar, Dr Apichai Tuanyok discusses his team’s “One Health” approach and multidisciplinary research to investigate the epidemiology of melioidosis in southern Thailand. 





VALIDATE Winter Seminars 2022

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Seminar took Place 14 December - 15:00 GMT

In this seminar, Dr Luciana Balboa will discuss how her team focused on unravelling the immunometabolic pathways that regulates leucocytes’ functions and their impact on the control of TB. To study the impact of TB-associated microenvironment on the functionality of M1 macrophages, they used the acellular fraction of pleural effusions from TB patients (TB-PE). Interestingly, they found that M1 macrophages exposed to TB-PE displayed a lower expression of HIF-1α and a reduced glycolytic activity, impairing the control of the bacterial growth.


Seminar took place 16 November 2022 - 15:00 GMT

Antigen-delivery vaccine platforms that promote humoral and cellular responses while maintaining a safe profile are a roadblock to developing subunit vaccines against Burkholderia pseudomallei. The Torres Lab at UTMB has used gold nanoparticles for the delivery of multicomponent antigens, identified by the bio-immunoinformatic analysis, that is able to induce vaccine-mediated immunity, promoting protection against melioidosis disease.

In this talk, Prof Alfredo G Torres discussed his team's latest research on nanovaccines.

VALIDATE ECR Summer Showcase Seminars

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Session 1

This session took place at 10:00am BST on 22 June 2022

Watch the video:  To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

Chair: Dr Naomi Daniels

Naomi Daniels







 Speakers and Topics​​

Epidemiological characteristics of melioidosis in Southern Vietnam via the number of culture-confirmed cases at the largest referral general hospital

Dr Nguyen Ho Lam
University of Medicine & Pharmacy, Vietnam

Adjuvants for vaccine: receptor ligand-based molecular interaction to ​​​​​​discover adjuvants ​​​​​for human toll-like receptors

Dr Nidhi Gupta
Central University of Rajasthan, India

Development and application of the mycobacterial growth inhibition assay (MGIA)

Dr Rachel Tanner
University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Speakers and Topics

This session took place at 16:00 BST on 13 July 2022

Watch the video:  To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

The underappreciated role of neonatal BCG vaccination in educating gut microbiota

Assistant Professor Nargis Khan
Department of Microbiology, University of Calgary, Canada                                                                                                                               

Using non-human primates for TB Vaccine evaluation

Dr Laura Sibley​​​
UK Health Security Agency, United Kingdom

Generating vaccines against tuberculosis based on our knowledge of mycobacterium biofilms

Dr Cristian Segura-Cerda (CHAIR)
CIATEJ, Mexico


"A Vaccine for...?" Seminar Series - Watch now on YouTube

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This seminar took place on 28 June 2022 at 16:00 pm BST

This is the third in our "A Vaccine for" seminar series, in which leading experts will provide an overview of the state of vaccine research for VAIDATE’s focus pathogens. In "A Vaccine for Leprosy?", Dr Khushboo Borah and Dr Chyntia Carolina Díaz Acosta discuss the prospects for a vaccine for Leprosy, the disease caused by Mycobacteria Leprae of which there are still over 200,000 new cases of diagnosed every year.

This seminar took place on 18 May 2022 at 13:00 BST

In this seminar, Prof Mukhopadhyay and Dr Dastidar discuss the prospects for a vaccine for Melioidosis, the disease caused by a bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is found across tropical and semi-tropical regions worldwide.

This seminar too place on 6 April 2022 at 10:00am BST

In “A Vaccine for Leishmaniasis?”, Prof Mitali Chatterjee and Dr Mohamed Osman provided an overview and update on the current state of research into vaccines for a disease that causes up to 40,000 deaths annually.

The seminar is especially interesting to vaccine researchers who do not study leishmaniasis.

The event took place at 10:00 am BST, on 6 April 2022.



Special Seminar

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Yumi Maeda Seminar

The seminar took place at 10:00 GMT, 30 November 2021

Speaker: Dr Yumi Maeda, Leprosy Research Center National Tokyo Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan 

Watch the video:  To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

BCG is the most studied vaccine and holds promise. Several studies indicate that BCG confers some protection against leprosy. In this talk, Dr Yumi Maeda, of the Leprosy Research Center National Tokyo Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, discusses how her team constructed a recombinant BCG that secretes Major Membrane Protein-II of M. leprae, and found that it was effective in inhibiting the growth of M. leprae in mice footpads. Studies are underway to produce BCG that is stable and can be used for large scale preparation.

Detection of leprosy is also necessary for early treatment. From the analysis of the genomic sequence, specific genes coding for antigens of leprosy were selected for evaluating the antibodies in the sera of patients, and user-friendly tools are also being developed.

VALIDATE Industry Seminars 2021 - Watch Now

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This seminar took place on 15 July 2021

Dr Xiao discussed the Immunology of latent TB infection (LTBI) and active TB disease, the granuloma formation and T cell medicated immunity and the immunology behind T cell-mediated immunity tests.


Dr Yupei Xiao has PhD in Respiratory Medicine with over 10 years of clinical research experience in haematology-oncology and respiratory medicine. Dr Xiao currently works in medical affairs for IVD company, and she is an experienced speaker and expert in clinical and scientific communication.

This seminar took place on 27 April 2021

COVID has provided a stark example of pathogenic mutation. The variation of the impact of infection on the population similarly shows that human responses are variable. This highlights a key need in vaccinology of identifying and developing technologies that can address diversity whilst maintaining safety and achieving cost-effectively. In this session, Graham Clarke explores the options and particularly highlight ImmBio’s approach, exemplified by its lead development against Streptococcus pneumoniae, a good example of a bacteria in circulation with a wide array of genotypes. Whilst there are products available providing good protection against specific serotypes, as defined by the polysaccharide capsule used in the current class of vaccines, ImmBio’s focus is a multiple-protein approach. A new approach raises new regulatory and manufacturing challenges but again drawing on COVID experience, vaccinology may be able to able to benefit from a paradigm shift in addressing risk and benefit, enhancing the attractiveness of investing in new vaccines.

​​​​​​Speaker: Graham Clarke is ImmBio’s Chair and previously its CEO. Originally a biophysicist, he has held senior-level positions including at SmithKline Beecham, GSK and GE Healthcare. He is now a non-executive on a number of boards, including the UK’s Medicine Discovery Catapult and NHS Health Research Authority. He has also been a member of the UK government’s COVID therapeutic task force.

This seminar took place on 11 March 2021

In an upcoming publication in Nature Biotechnology, Dr Sheila Keating and her team have demonstrated the technology to capture entire immune repertoires from infected or vaccinated individuals, to be used to treat difficult to treat infections - and have demonstrated this work with COVID and respiratory bacterial infections. In this talk, Dr Sheila Keating described the technology and will mapped out potential pathways for developing passive immune therapeutics that will not only treat but also help to prime immune responses to protect against future infections. Location: Online via Microsoft Teams ​​​​​​


Dr Sheila Keating is a VALIDATE Network Investigator Adjunct Associate Professor at GigaGen and the University California San Francisco. Over the past 15 years, Sheila's work has focused on understanding cellular and humoral immune responses to vaccines and infectious diseases and, more recently, has focused on using high throughput immune assays to measure biomarkers of immune response or pathology in a number of studies ranging from HIV, HCV, HBV vaccine breakthrough, Chagas, West Nile Virus, cardiovascular disease, neuropathology and many other areas.

VALIDATE Winter Seminars 2020 - Watch on YouTube Now!

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This seminar took place on 15 December 2020.


Dr Maria Adelaida Gomez is VALIDATE Network Investigator and a Coordinator at the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Lab at CIDEIM in Cali, Colombia. Adelaida is currently working to unravel the host-pathogen interactions and underlying mechanisms that determine the outcome of human Leishmania infections and therapeutic responses, towards the identification of host and parasite biomarkers of treatment outcome, and intervenable host functions to optimize therapeutic strategies.


This seminar took place Online on 3 December 2020



Giorgio Colombo is Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Dept of Chemistry, University of Pavia. Prof Colombo has authored or coauthored more than 150 scientific publications in international journals, and works to integrate molecular dynamics, computational physical-chemistry and bioinformatics approaches to study the dynamics and specificity of protein-ligand recognition and binding.

Louise Gourlay is an Assistant Professor in Biochemistry at the Department of Biosciences at the University of Milan, Italy. Asst Prof Gourlay is a structural biologist and biochemist with a principal interest in using 3D structure information, obtained via X-ray crystallography, to re-engineer protein antigens/epitopes from Burkholderia pseudomallei, to improve their potential use as immunogens in a melioidosis vaccine and on developing novel, immunodiagnostic tests for emerging infections.

This seminar took place on 24 November 2020


Professor Samantha Sampson is a TB researcher and heads the Host-Pathogen Mycobactomics Research Group at Stellenbosch University. The group aims to gain a better understanding of how the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis interacts with its host to cause disease.

Dr Jomien Mouton is a post-doc in Prof Sampson's Host-Pathogen Mycobactomics Research Group at Stellenbosch University and is a VALIDATE Fellow. Dr Mouton's work focuses on establishing and validating a new dual-reporter system that can be utilised to identify and isolate “persister” populations of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

VALIDATE Summer Seminars 2020 - Watch now!

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To watch the video, VALIDATE members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place on 1 September 2020


Bernardo Villarreal-Ramos is VALIDATE Network Investigator and Professor of Immunology at the University of Aberystwyth and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), UK with a research focus on Tuberculosis, animal models, vaccines and T-cells.

Amanda Gibson is a VALIDATE Network Associate and Lecturer in Innate Immunology at Aberystwyth University whose research interests lie in underpinning early events required for establishing infection; the interaction between mycobacteria and host cells, particularly with the innate immune system at the point of recognition and uptake and initial responses leading to disease. 

To watch the video, VALIDATE members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place on 29 July 2020


Associate Professor Hiro Goto is a VALIDATE Network Investigator based at the Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil. Hiro's research focus is on immunopathology and the diagnosis of leishmaniasis.

Eduardo Milton Ramos Sanchez is a VALIDATE Network Associate and Post-doctoral researcher presently working at the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Sao Paulo, USP, Brazil. Eduardo has been involved in the purification and production of recombinant antigens for the development of serological tests for leishmaniasis and Malaria and vaccines for Bovine mastitis.

To watch the video, VALIDATE members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place online on 23 July 2020

Speaker: Mary Burtnick is a Network Investigator and Associate Professor based in the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. Mary has nearly two decades of experience working with pathogenic Burkholderia species and her current research focuses on the identification of antigens expressed by Burkholderia pseudomallei that can be used to develop novel vaccines, diagnostics and immune assays to combat melioidosis.


To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place online on 30 June 2020


Prof Siobhán McClean is an Associate Professor at School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, UCD.  Prof McClean has a research interest in host pathogens associated with respiratory pathogens that cause opportunistic infections and in identifying vaccine antigens that are protective against Burkholderia pseudomallei.

Dr Julen Tomás Cortázar is a postdoctoral researcher at UCD. He is leading part of a project funded by Wellcome Trust agency to develop a vaccine against Melioidosis caused by the Gram-negative bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei.

Watch the Seminar: Members can watch first logging on to WebLearn and then clicking here.

Seminar Archive

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To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place on 15 January 2020

VALIDATE Network Management Board member Prof Andrea Cooper delivered this seminar on 15 Jan 2020 at the Jenner Institute, and has kindly agreed for us to share it with all VALIDATE members. 


To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.


VALIDATE seminar - Developing a better vaccine against TB

This seminar took place 15 February 2019 and was led by Prof Helen McShane and Dr Rachel Tanner.

TB kills more people than any other infectious disease. The efficacy of the only available vaccine, BCG, is highly variable and lowest in high burden settings. The McShane group is developing novel TB vaccine candidates by identifying novel antigenic targets and exploring novel routes of immunization.

TB vaccine development is challenging given the lack of defined immunological correlates of protection. Class II restricted T cells are critical for protective immunity but may not be sufficient. Dr Tanner provided an update on functional mycobacterial growth inhibition assays and on a role for antibodies in protective immunity.

zelmer fletcher seminar

This seminar took place on the 6 December 2017 at LSHTM and was led by Dr Andrea Zelmer and Dr Helen Fletcher, LSHTM.

Immune correlates of risk of TB disease have recently been identified in human clinical trials.  These correlates indicate that, years before TB disease develops, there is alteration in the host-immune environment which is associated with risk of TB disease. Perhaps these alterations render the immune environment permissive to mycobacterial infection or increased growth, or perhaps they reduce the efficacy of the BCG vaccine?  Back translation of immune correlates of risk into animal models will enable us to address these questions and model the immune response of those individuals at greatest risk of TB disease.

Members can watch the seminar on LSHTM's Panopto Account