News

Feb 27, 2018
Additional funding for IMPRINT from The Industry Strategy Challenge Fund

We are happy to announce that IMPRINT has been awarded a £599,920 supplement under The Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund (ICSF), which will allow us to bring additional and diverse pump-priming activities to our Network and to enhance collaborations between industry and academic researchers.

The ICSF aims to bring together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time, including leading-edge healthcare.

With the additional funding, we are not only able to fund more exciting research projects, but also to introduce special industry-academia-sessions at our network meetings to spark and strengthen cross-sectoral collaboration. In addition, we will produce educational materials to explain our science to lay audiences, give out IMPRINT Public Engagement Awards, and offer transferable skills training for our members at different levels – particularly to young scientists.

Feb 25, 2018
New members

We have just added our 100th member to your network. Our members come from 25 different countries. Join us today and become eligible for pump priming and fellowship funding. You can help us tackle the challenges in the best use of vaccines in pregnancy and newborns.

Feb 23, 2018
2 new Fellowship Grants awarded

Congratulations to our first two fellowship awardees and their collaborating partners whose projects will start from May 2018!

Dr Alansana Darboe from the Vaccine & Immunity Theme, Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will be leading the project "Understanding interactions between Maternal IgG and Neonatal Innate Immune Cells (MINIC)" that will be implemented together with the two Co-PIs Prof Tobias Kollmann from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, Canada and Prof. Arnaud Marchant from the Institute for Medical Immunology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.

Dr Shadia Khandaker from the Department of Clinical Infection, Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool will be leading the project “Towards the understanding of anti-Group B Streptococcus (GBS) protective immunity: characterisation of maternal sera in high- vs. low- GBS prevalence countries using humanised mice” that will be implemented together with the three Co-PIs Prof. Aras Kadioglu and Prof Neil French from the University of Liverpool and Prof. Samir Kumar Saha from the Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) and the Bangladesh Institute of Child Health Research Foundation, Dhaka Shishu (Child) Hospital, Bangladesh.

Feb 15, 2018
Maternity & Midwifery Festival

IMPRINT was promoted at the first London Maternity & Midwifery Festival that took place on February 13th 2018 with over 1600 participants. This national professional festival, with leadership speakers and exhibitions, is to be held annually to highlight developments in maternity and midwifery across the South East of the United Kingdom.

Our IMPRINT network member Beth Holder and a team from Imperial College London attended the event to promote MatImms, a free Smartphone App designed by leading experts of paediatric infectious diseases at Imperial College London that aims to improve vaccine information available to pregnant women, enabling them to make informed choices and encourages vaccination in pregnancy to protect newborn babies from preventable infections.  MatImms collaborate with pregnant women alongside academic, clinical and policy partners such as Public Health England and antenatal services, in the UK and globally through the Centre for International Child Health.

Matimms is led by Professor Beate Kampmann, a world leader in maternal immunization at Imperial college and one of our IMPRINT founders.

Jan 15, 2018
Publication update

We will regularly highlight publications from IMPRINT members and/or with relevance to the issue of maternal immunization in this section – please find current papers below:

  • “Failure to thrive: Case definition & guidelines for data collection, analysis, and presentation of maternal immunisation safety data
    Elizabeth Ross, Flor M. Munoz, Bassey Edem, Cassandra Nan,d Fyezah Jehan, Julie Quinn, Tamala Mallett Moore, Sanie Sesay, Hans Spiegel, Librada Fortuna, Sonali Kochhar, Jim Buttery, for The Brighton Collaboration Failure to Thrive Working Group
    Vaccine. 2017 Dec 4;35(48 Pt A):6483-6491. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.01.051

    Co-authored by IMPRINT founding member and challenge 5 co-lead Dr Sonali Kochhar and IMPRINT member Dr Flor M. Munoz.
  • “Factors Affecting the FcRn-Mediated Transplacental Transfer of Antibodies and implications for vaccination in Pregnancy”
    Christopher R. Wilcox, Beth Holder and Christine E. Jones
    Front Immunol. 2017; 8: 1294.  Published online 2017 Oct 13. doi:  10.3389/fimmu.2017.01294

    Professor Chrissie Jones is the Co-director of IMPRINT and co-lead of challenge 2 together with Dr Beth Holder. Dr Christopher Wilcox is one of our IMPRINT members.
Jan 12, 2018
Ethics of maternal immunization:

The ethics of maternal immunization is a topic that has been addressed in the following three publications that we want to share with you:

  • Protected to death: systematic exclusion of pregnant women from Ebola virus disease trials
    Melba F. Gomes, Vânia de la Fuente-Núñez, Abha Saxena and Annette C. Kuesel
    Reproductive Health 2017, 14(Suppl 3):172 doi: 10.1186/s12978-017-0430-2
  • Ethics of maternal vaccination- Involvement of women is critical in establishing guidelines
    A. T. Chamberlain, J. V. Lavery, A. White, S. B. Omer
    Science 27 Oct 2017 Vol. 358 (6362), 452-453. DOI:10.1126/science.aao4219 (you need to have a Science account in order to access the publication)
  • Maternal immunisation: ethical issues
    Marcel Verweij, Philipp Lambach, Justin R Ortiz, Andreas Reis
    Lancet Infect Dis 2016; 16: e310–14 DOI: 10.1126/science.aao4219
Jan 10, 2018
New vaccines to protect babies as early as possible

Paul Heath, IMPRINT Executive Board member, discussed the potential of maternal vaccination to protect mothers, fetuses and infants in their first weeks of life and how to further increase their positive impact in Vaccines Today:

“To improve antenatal immunization, we need new strategies to encourage vaccination, ongoing professional education for healthcare providers, and to make maternal vaccination a routine item in women’s healthcare.”

Dec 8, 2017
Three new Pump Priming Grants awarded

Congratulations to our first three pump priming awardees and their collaborating partners whose projects will start in spring 2018!

Dr Qibo Zhang from the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool will be leading the project "Elucidating the effect of maternal immunisation on the subsequent development of T cell response following pertussis vaccination in infants" that will be implemented together with the two Co-PIs Prof. Elke Leuridan from the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination, Vaccine & Infectious Diseases Institute, University of Antwerp, Belgium and Prof. Yong Poovorawan from the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.

Simon Gwapa Kimuda from the Department of Immunomodulation and Vaccines, Medical Research Council/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, will be using in vitro mycobacterial growth inhibition assays as a tool to assess functional immune responses induced by VPM1002 vaccination in infants.
He will be working with Prof. Alison Elliott, Head of Immunomodulation and Vaccines Programme, Medical Research Council/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS and Prof. Gerhard Walzl, Head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Dr Sudaxshina Murdan from the UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London, will work on oral vaccines which generate immune responses in the vagina and prevent mother-to-baby transmission of infections during birth.
In this project she will be collaborating with Prof Abdul Basit from the UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London and Dr Fatme Mawas from the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), UK.

All selected projects address key challenges of IMPRINT and include collaborations between HIC and LMIC countries to foster and strengthen our maternal vaccine network. They will be funded with a max of £70,000 per project and for a duration of up to 12 months. Full abstracts and further details will be published here soon.

Dec 5 2017
Joint stand of all five vaccine networks at the British Society for Immunology Congress 2017 in Brighton
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Our IMPRINT network manager, Dr. Claudia Schacht, together with our sister Network Managers from the VALIDATE Network (Vaccine development for complex intracellular neglected pathogens), IntVetVac (the International Veterinary Vaccinology Network), HIC-Vac (The Human Challenge Model Network) and BactiVac (the Bacterial Vaccines Network) joined forces during the British Society for Immunology (BSI) meeting in Brighton from 4-7 December 2017 to promote the networks and currently open pump priming and fellowship calls. The team of managers was supported by BSI President Peter Openshaw and MRC Programme Manager Martin Broadstock in their aim of spreading the word and raising awareness of the networks and their activities.

The BSI Congress is the largest national immunology Congress in Europe and was attended by over 1,250 speakers, presenters, sponsors, exhibitors and delegates – all potential new members of one or several of our networks.

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