Events

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IMPRINT videos

What does Maternal Immunisation mean? Dr Beate Kampmann explains:

Learn more about our IMPRINT fellows, their work and motivation:

Get to know the people behind the IMPRINT network:

Sept 17 2019
IMPRINT Session at INMIS 2019 in Vancouver, Canada

On 17 September 2019 the IMPRINT session took place as part of the 5th International Maternal and Neonatal Immunisation symposium (INMIS) in Vancouver, Canada. The session commenced with a warm welcome by our PIs Beate Kampmann, and Chrissie Jones followed by an introduction to IMPRINT by our network manager Claudia Schacht. During the meeting, our four fellows and ten of our pump priming awardees presented on the progress of their projects, including results from four completed Pump Priming grants. Marie Yang presented her public engagement project, which was part of our new funding scheme.

Fellowship grants enable career development for post-doctoral scientists from LMIC with a keen interest in maternal and neonatal immunisation science. Pump priming awards are 12-month projects addressing key challenges. Public engagement grants are new, innovative and creative projects that improve the public’s awareness and understanding of maternal vaccination, build confidence and address risk perceptions.

An additional presentation was given by Sam Martin on The Vaccine Confidence Project, which is monitoring vaccine confidence across media & social media, utilizing machine learning, digital analytics and confidence mapping.

The meeting was open to IMPRINT members as well as interested parties and the more than 70 attendees sparked lively discussions during the Q&A rounds. The session concluded the 3-day INMIS symposium and was a great end to a fruitful and inspiring conference.

Another highlight was the dinner cruise networking event that took place on the previous evening. 25 network members enjoyed impressive views of the Vancouver skyline and the opportunity to engage with fellow experts.

We would like to thank all attendees for making the IMPRINT session a great success!

IMPRINT was recently awarded a one-year no-cost extension by the MRC and will officially run until the end of May 2021.

The presentation slides will be available on the intranet from Monday 30 September 2019.

June 18th, 2019
Half-way through- where are we headed?

On June 18th, 2019 the IMPRINT Network Steering Committee and Management Board came together at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in London, UK, to hold their second annual meeting.

IMPRINT network brings together scientists, researchers and other passionate professionals focusing on widespread implementation of maternal and neonatal immunization programmes, funded by the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The meeting commenced with a presentation delivered by the LINQ management team updating the steering group on the current project status and the two new open IMPRINT calls. These consist of a third round of Pump Priming grants and a first round of Public Engagement grants, with the latter aiming to fund new, innovative and creative projects that improve the public’s awareness and understanding of maternal vaccination.

The Network Director Prof. Beate Kampmann and Co-Director Dr. Chrissie Jones elaborated on the upcoming Industry Placement, which is a 6-month placement between The Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Pfizer, and an outstanding opportunity for applicants with a keen interest in Vaccinology. This was followed by an update on the sister network developments and an IMPRINT SWOT analysis with an open feedback round to critically review the networks halfway point and to strategize its long-term success.

The meeting continued with presentations by the challenge leaders showcasing the progress and results of their respective projects, and the group jointly discussed research outcomes, difficulties and opportunities. The brief yet highly effective one day meeting came to an end and the steering group is anticipating the upcoming Meeting in Vancouver (INMIS) in September of this year.

Sept 24-25, 2018
First Annual IMPRINT Network Meeting

Our first annual full network meeting has been held on the 24th and 25th of September, 2018 in Kingston upon Thames, Greater London.

Sept 12, 2017
IMPRINT kickoff meeting in Brussels

On Sept 10th, 2017 the Steering Committee and Management Board of the new IMPRINT network came together in Brussels, Belgium, to hold their project kickoff meeting and an IMPRINT stakeholder session in conjunction with the 4th International Neonatal & Maternal Immunization Symposium (INMIS).

The IMPRINT network, led by Prof Beate Kampmann from Imperial College London and Dr Chrissie Jones from the University Hospital Southampton, was selected for funding as one of nine UK Vaccine Networks supported by the Gobal Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), which is co-funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

IMPRINT brings together stakeholders from basic science, immunology, vaccinology, social sciences, industry, public health and national and international policy makers, and will receive £1.931.436 of funding over three years to advance our understanding of fundamental scientific questions about vaccination in pregnancy and the neonatal period, and to identify the best methods for assessing the efficacy, safety and acceptability of such vaccines.

Through a bundle of support activities such as network events, an attractive IMPRINT fellowship scheme and the awarding of pump-priming grants, IMPRINT aims to create a strong, sustainable network of scientists and other stakeholders in the field of maternal and neonatal immunization, with a particular focus on collaboration with partners from Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC).

News

13 Nov 2019
Industry Placement Award – a collaborative initiative between IMPRINT and Pfizer

IMPRINT is delighted to announce that Dr Helen H Skirrow, Public Health Specialty Registrar and Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, at Imperial College London has been awarded a 6-month Clinical Research Fellowship (Industry Placement) at Pfizer Inc. funded by the IMPRINT network starting in February 2020.

The fellowship will centre on the development of a framework for a post-approval study to establish the effectiveness of a Group B Streptococcus (GBS) vaccine in prevention of neonatal disease in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC).

Furthermore, the fellowship, based between Imperial College, the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Pfizer at Hurley, UK, will offer insights into Pfizer policies and procedures on planning and conduct of clinical vaccine trials.

Congratulations, Helen!

11 Nov 2019
Publication update

IMRPINT is delighted to share a new publication by two of our IMPRINT steering group members Beate Kampmann and Heidi Larson from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Immunization: vital progress, unfinished agenda. Peter Piot, Heidi J. Larson, Katherine L. O’Brien, John N’kengasong, Edmond Ng, Samba Sow & Beate Kampmann. Nature 2019, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1656-7

https://rdcu.be/bWAc0

The publication is also featured on the LSHTM main website: https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2019/valley-death-supply-and-demand-sustainability-unfinished-agenda-immunisation

Abstract:

Vaccination against infectious diseases has changed the future of the human species, saving millions of lives every year, both children and adults, and providing major benefits to society as a whole. Here we show, however, that national and sub-national coverage of vaccination varies greatly and major unmet needs persist. Although scientific progress opens exciting perspectives in terms of new vaccines, the pathway from discovery to sustainable implementation can be long and difficult, from the financing, development and licensing to programme implementation and public acceptance. Immunization is one of the best investments in health and should remain a priority for research, industry, public health and society.

24 Sep 2019
Applications invited for travel bursaries for LMIC delegates at Meningitis Research Foundation’s Conference – deadline 1 October

The IMPRINT network would like to share the following announcement by Linda Glennie, Director of Research, Evidence and Policy, from the Meningitis Research Foundation.

I’m delighted to announce that the Wellcome Trust has awarded a bursary fund to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses for delegates from low and lower middle income countries wishing to attend the MRF conference on 5-6 November 2019 in London.

We are inviting expressions of interest from anyone interested in attending the conference who is a national of and resident for at least 60% of the year in a low-income or lower-middle-income country in accordance with the current World Bank classification https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups.

To apply for a bursary, please send

•             a one-page summary of your CV, and

•             a paragraph outlining how attending this conference will be relevant/important for you in your work and future career (for example, conducting research relevant to meningitis or the pathogens that cause it, implementing public health measures to prevent cases, undertaking surveillance, looking after patients affected by meningitis and associated infections, or actively participating in advocacy, programme implementation or networking efforts relevant to meningitis), and

•             confirmation that other sources of support are not available.

Please send to Liz Rodgers elizabethr@meningitis.org .

Anyone who meets the LMIC residence requirement may apply but preference will be given to early career researchers and health professionals.  

We aim to award bursaries by the end of next week to enable time for visa applications and travel arrangements. Therefore the deadline for expressions of interest is 1st October 2019 (a week from today).

27 Aug 2019
News article in The Guardian: “MMR vaccine: one in seven five-year-olds in England may not be immunised”

Prof Heidi Larson, member of the IMPRINT Steering Group and director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, chimes in on the UK losing its measles-free status. Click here to read the full article: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/aug/19/mmr-vaccine-one-in-seven-five-year-olds-in-england-may-not-be-immunised

31 Jul 2019
5th International Neonatal & Maternal Immunization Symposium

The 5th International Neonatal & Maternal Immunization Symposium will take place on September 15-17, 2019 in Vancouver. Early bird registration discount is available until August, 2019. Find more information under http://www.inmis.org/ and here:

25 Jul 2019
News article in The Guardian: ‘Worry is contagious’: the vaccine-hesitant parents putting children at risk

Prof Heidi Larson, member of the IMPRINT Steering Group, was interviewed by The Guardian and talked about vaccine-hesitant parents. Click here to read the entire article:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jul/13/vaccines-hesitant-parents-threat-to-global-health

23 Jul 2019
Master of Science in Medicine in the field of Vaccinology

Applications for the MSc (Med) in the field of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa for January 2020 intake are invited. Applications close on 20th August 2019. The details of the course and application process are in found in the  website www.wits-alive.ac.za

Additionally, there is an update on the Afro-ADVAC 2020 details on the website. Applications will open in January 2020.

09 Jul 2019
Job Opening: Clinical Research Fellow

The Infection and Immunity Research Institute at St Georges, University of London is looking for a Clinical Research Fellow:

We are seeking an experienced, self-motivated infectious diseases physician/pediatrician and/or clinical microbiologist with an interest in antimicrobial resistance and/or perinatal and neonatal infections to work on a maternal and neonatal sepsis study in Kampala, Uganda. As a clinical research fellow, you will be an integral part of Bill and Melinda Gates and EDCTP-funded studies to develop a platform in Uganda for maternal vaccination studies. The focus of the postholder will be to identify infants and postpartum women with infections in a busy unit in Kampala, Uganda and to improve recognition of infection, blood culture and clinical specimen taking and processing and identification of pathogens through our clinical and diagnostic laboratory capacity building programme. Additionally, the postholder will be responsible for working towards antimicrobial stewardship at the hospital.

Closing date 31 Jul 2019.

To view the advert, click here: http://jobs.sgul.ac.uk/345-19

For further information please contact:
Dr Kirsty Le Doare kiledoar@sgul.ac.uk or Prof Paul Heath pheath@sgul.ac.uk

01 Jul 2019
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS for the 21st ADVANCED COURSE OF VACCINOLOGY (ADVAC)

In Veyrier du Lac (near Annecy), France, from 11 to 22 May 2020 

Closing date for receipt of applications:  15 November 2019

IMPRINT would like to share a great opportunity organized by the Fondation Mérieux and the University of Geneva. This call is not funded by IMPRINT and all further information can be obtained from the ADVAC website (advac.org). ADVAC is a two-week training programme targeting decision-makers, including academia, industry, governmental and non-governmental agencies, in all fields related to vaccines and vaccination, vaccine trials, new vaccines, vaccination strategies and policies, vaccine-specific issues (including polio, measles, meningococcal and pneumococcal diseases, influenza, malaria, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, HPV, rotavirus, dengue and JE, CMV, rabies), ethical issues related to vaccine trials, financing of immunization, communication…

The course aims to facilitate critical decision-making in vaccinology by providing participants with a comprehensive overview of the field, from immunology to vaccine development and clinical trials, as well as the social, economic, political and ethical issues of vaccination.  The Course is relevant for both the public and private sectors.

Teaching is provided by over 60 top-level international lecturers and working group supervisors, all experts in vaccinology.  It should be noted that as the Course is in English, a good level of this language is a prerequisite for selected candidates.

As done annually, European CME credits will be requested from the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME®).  Most participants in the Course should be able to convert these credits through their respective professional bodies. 

Fellowships covering travel expenses, as well as registration and accommodation fees will be available for a number of selected participants in accordance with the criteria outlined on the website.  These fellowships are provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID), and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID).

Further information with regard to the Course programme, detailed list of objectives, how to apply, selection criteria and registration fees can be obtained from the ADVAC website (advac.org).

28 Jun 2019
IMPRINT Session at INMIS 2019 in Vancouver

IMPRINT Session at INMIS 2019 in Vancouver

We are excited to announce that on 17 September IMPRINT will host a session at the 5th International Neonatal & Maternal Immunization Symposium 2019. INMIS 2019 is co-sponsored by IMPRINT and takes place from 15-17 September in Vancouver, Canada.

All INMIS attendees are warmly invited to attend the session on 17th September, 13.30-17.00.

Programme: Scientific presentations from our IMPRINT Fellows and Pump Priming awardees, updates on IMPRINT’s progress and achievements as well as our brand-new public engagement awards, opportunities to network with our members and stakeholders, how to join the network.

For more details on how to register for INMIS and the official programme, please visit www.inmis.org.

Click here to see the IMPRINT Session programme: INMIS programme

If you are planning to attend the IMPRINT session, please send us a quick email: IMPRINT@linq-management.com.

21 Jun 2019
Advert for industry Placement- a collaborative initiative between the IMPRINT network and Pfizer

We are happy to announce an opportunity for a 6-months placement between The Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Pfizer, funded by the IMPRINT network and based in the UK.

Applicants should be UK-resident academic investigators or academic trainees with a keen interest in Vaccinology, in particular relating to the use of vaccines in pregnancy.

Salary costs and some travel allowance would be available from IMPRINT network funds.

A tri-partite agreement between the applicants home institution, LSHTM and Pfizer would be implemented and the successful applicant “seconded” from his/her home institution with agreement of their respective deanery, where applicable. This opportunity might suit advanced academic trainees in infection and immunity or public health, seeking out of program experience and industry insights.

The scope of work would centre on the development of a framework for a post-approval study to establish the effectiveness of a Group B Streptococcus (GBS) vaccine in prevention of neonatal disease in Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMIC).

The candidate would gain experience in Pfizer policies and procedures on planning and conduct of clinical vaccine trials-in general and not specifically to GBS- through direct interactions and shadowing of Pfizer staff, based in the UK in Hurley, SL6 6RJ.

The position is available as soon as possible but needs to be taken up latest by March 2020.

Please send a CV incl. current salary range and a letter of motivation to IMPRINT@linq-management.com

Deadline for applications: July 31st 2019

25 May 2019
Abstract submission and registration are now open for the 2019 ISV Annual Congress

It is our pleasure to announce that abstract submission and registration are now open for the 2019 ISV Annual Congress (October 27-29) in Ghent, Flanders-Belgium at the International Convention Center (ICC).

You can find the near final conference program with speaker sessions on the ISV conference website: https://isvcongress.org/.

We have an outstanding line up of international speakers and many opportunities for speakers who will be selected based on the submitted abstracts.

Please note:

  • A number of scholarship opportunities are available to assist junior trainees and also attendees from LMIC’s see  https://isvcongress.org/congress/scholarships-2019 for details.
  • The Congress hosts a ‘Bright Sparks in Vaccinology’ workshop, where the best abstracts submitted from PhD students/ trainees with less than 5 years research experience will be selected for oral presentation. Please indicate PhD/ early career trainee status in the indicated fields of the registration and abstract submission.
  • The ISV also hosts an interactive career development panel (with speakers from diverse disciplines outside academia).

To register please visit the https://isvcongress.org/program/2019-registration page on the Congress website.  We strongly encourage everyone to register prior to the early bird deadline (August 15th) after which the registration rates increase. Please note ISV members receive a US $100 discount on registration so consider renewing your membership or joining prior to registering for the Congress.

Along with your registration please make sure to purchase your Gala Dinner ticket(s), taking place on Monday, October 28th at the Thagaste Augustinian Monastery.  Tickets are not included in the registration fee.  You must enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase on the registration page (maximum 10).  If you are purchasing more than 1 ticket you must provide the Congress Secretariat the name of who will be using the additional ticket(s).  For more information visit the https://isvcongress.org/congress/gala-dinner page on the Congress website. 

For accommodation , see  https://isvcongress.org/congress/accommodation-information-2019  on the Congress website, this includes information regarding local hotels, hostels, and B&Bs. Please book your rooms by contacting the hotel directly via phone or email. Gent Congres provided a booking website, Gent-Hotels which allows you to search multiple hotels in Ghent and reserve rooms.  Please be aware that ISV is not partnered with any specific hotel this year. 

Lastly, please visit the official https://isvcongress.org/ website for all information and updates and email info@ISVcongress.org for any questions.


20 May 2019
Publication update

This month, another relevant publication has been published in the
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics journal by Sushena Krishnaswamy, Philipp Lambach & Michelle L. Giles on Key considerations for successful implementation of maternal immunization programs in low and middle income countries.

14 May 2019
Latest publications by our IMPRINT board members

We are delighted to share two more publications by one of our IMPRINT founding members and challenge 5 co-lead Dr Sonali Kochhar.

Introduction of new vaccines for immunization in pregnancy – Programmatic, regulatory, safety and ethical considerations. Sonali Kochhar, Kathryn M.Edwards, Alba Maria Ropero Alvarez, Pedro L.Moro, Justin R.Ortiz. Vaccine 2019,  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.04.075; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X19305638

Pregnant women & vaccines against emerging epidemic threats: Ethics guidance for preparedness, research, and response. Carleigh B. Krubiner, Ruth R.Faden, Ruth A.Karron, Margaret O.Little, Anne D.Lyerly,Jon S.Abramson, Richard H.Beigi, Alejandro R.Cravioto, Anna P.Durbin, Bruce G.Gellin, Swati B.Guptai, David C.Kaslow, Sonali Kochhar, Florencia Luna, Carla Saenz Jeanne S.Sheffield, Paulina O. Tindana. Vaccine 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.01.011. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X19300453?via%3Dihub

07 May 2019
Congratulations

IMPRINT is delighted to announce that Dr Kirsty LeDoare, a member of the IMPRINT community and management team, has been awarded a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders fellowship to take forward her work in Group B strep research.    

We congratulate Kirsty and thank her for acknowledging IMPRINT in her statement in the press release below:

https://sgul.ac.uk/news/news-archive/paediatric-infectious-diseases-researcher-awarded-prestigious-ukri-future-leaders-fellowship

25 Apr 2019
Latest publications by our IMPRINT board members

Our board members Sonali Kochhar, Ed Clarke and Clare Cutland published in Vaccine on “Immunization in pregnancy safety surveillance in low and middle-income countries- field performance and validation of novel case definitions” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.03.074

A globally standardized approach in high and low and middle-income countries (LMIC) to actively monitor the safety of vaccines for pregnant women during development and implementation phases is critical. Brighton Collaboration’s (BC) Global Alignment of Immunization Safety Assessment in Pregnancy (GAIA) project has developed globally standardized case definitions (CDs) of key obstetric and neonatal terms for the assessment of safety of vaccines in pregnancy. CDs are categorized into levels of diagnostic certainty, facilitating their use in varied settings. This study evaluates the field performance of CDs in LMIC.

We are proud to have quite a few IMPRINT members amongst the authors of a recent publication on neonatal immune ontogeny published in Nature Communications. It describes a novel way of getting maximum information from minimum samples and not only the data but also the methodology might be of relevance to some of our IMPRINT network members:

Dynamic molecular changes during the first week of human life follow a robust developmental trajectory.https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08794-x

Our challenge 4 co-lead and director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, Heidi Larson commented on urban anti-vaccine hotspots putting children at risk, and the still ongoing misconception about the relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism.

25 Apr 2019
World Immunization Week – podcasts and infos

The World Immunization Week 2019 has just started! This annual week is organised by the WHO and aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease and create awareness about the millions of lives saved every year by this successful and cost-effective health intervention. Also, it aims to build awareness that there are nearly 20 million unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children in the world today. For more information about WIW2019 to help promote key messages please see the website.

In order to celebrateWorld Immunization Week 2019, The Vaccine Centre at LSHTMsteering group

has produced a fascinating podcast series. Each episode is a recorded interview with leading vaccine academics from within and outside the School profiling different areas of research. One podcast is launched each day of the week from the 24th – 30th of April.

Episode 1 launched today is titled Progress towards a universal flu vaccine: understanding the many ‘hats’ of the influenza virusThe interview is between the Dr Petra Klepac (EPH) and Professor Sunetra Gupta from the University of Oxford and takes us through Professor Gupta’s work on mathematical modelling of the evolution of epitope diversity in infectious disease pathogens and how this can lead to a candidate universal flu vaccine.

Episode 2is titled Learning from nature: how we can protect newborn babies even better against infections. Our network PI Beate Kampmann explains which vaccines are available to be given in pregnancy to confer the best protection to the offspring and which new vaccines are needed. 

Please share widely with your networks and on social media (using the hashtag #vaccineswork) and with your non-vaccine focused contacts! Look out for additional episodes in the week to come.

20 Feb 2019
Latest updates on vaccine hesitancy and the spread of measles

Sadly, the measles virus is sparking grave concern worldwide, as the highly contagious airborne disease makes a resurgence. In recent months, it has been spreading in countries including the United States, the Philippines and Madagascar. News Stream CNN spoke to Prof. Heidi Larson, our IMPRINT steering committee member and director of the Vaccine Confidence Project on the issue. Heidi also joined the Al Jazeera inside story “ Why is measles back and spreading?

01 Jan 2019
Funding opportunity: The Global Maternal and Neonatal Health funding call, opening January 16th 2019

The Global Maternal and Neonatal Health funding call is a joint initiative between the Medical Research Council, partly funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The purpose of this call is to address the burden of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), by funding high-quality proposals across the spectrum of basic to applied research. Awards will support multidisciplinary research, build and strengthen research partnerships, and promote capacity building in global maternal and neonatal health research. Applications are particularly encouraged from principal investigators based at organisations in LMIC, as well as from eligible research organisations based in the UK working in equitable partnership with LMIC colleagues.

  • Open date: 16 Jan 2019
  • Closing date: 24 Apr 2019 16:00 GMT

For more details on the call, please refer to the website

17 Dec 2018
What to expect when you apply for IMPRINT funding – testimonials from our GCRF Networks Vaccinology Course scholars

From December 3rd – 7th 2018 , the GCRF Networks Vaccinology Course was held in Bangkok.
IMPRINT awarded three travel scholarships to attend the course to Dr Lok Bahadur Shrestha from Nepal, Nasamon Wanlapakorn from Thailand and Dr Shona Moore from the UK.

We are excited to share Lok´s and Shona´s impression of the course:

I am Lok Bahadur Shrestha, Assistant Professor at the B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Dharan, Nepal. The GCRF Networks Vaccinology Course in Bangkok was a fruitful course. I would like to thank the IMPRINT-Network for sponsoring me to attend. The course was well organized with a beautiful venue, great management and top-notch speakers. The lectures covered everything in vaccinology; right from the basic immunology to the final licensing steps of a candidate vaccine. The presentations were very insightful and interactive that kept us all engaged. The discussion sessions after each lecture were informative, even the coffee breaks were fruitful with the two-way interaction between the speakers and participants. The speakers were top vaccinologists of the world and available to talk to during the whole course. The course exceeded my expectations in every way. This course is definitely going to help me a lot in the path of vaccine research. I would like to thank the IMPRINT Network and the whole organizing team again for this wonderful opportunity and hope to be a part of this team in the near future.

I am Shona Moore, a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Liverpool, Institute of Infection and Global Health. In December 2018 I attended the GCRF Networks Vaccinology Course as an IMPRINT network scholar. The workshop, based at the wonderful Anantara Riverside Resort in Bangkok, was attended by 40 delegates and 20 speakers with a range of experience across the vaccine development pipeline and from both human and veterinary fields. Set in a fantastic location on the banks of the Chao Phraya river, the course gave a thorough and comprehensive insight into the field of vaccinology and had a varied schedule of excellent talks by outstanding speakers. As an early career researcher, attending the course not only expanded my knowledge of vaccinology but provided invaluable networking opportunity. I particularly enjoyed exploring the vaccinology theme across both human and veterinary fields. As a human immunologist, this opened my eyes to some of the unique challenges faced in the veterinary field. Set in such a vibrant and exciting city, the whole experience was unforgettable.

01 Dec 2018
PREVENT report on the subject of inclusion of pregnant women in vaccine trials in emergencies

The Pregnancy Research Ethics for Vaccines, Epidemics, and New Technologies (PREVENT) is committed to developing concrete, actionable, consensus-driven ethics guidance on how to equitably include the interests of pregnant women and their offspring in vaccine R&D for priority pathogens and emerging epidemic threats. The multi-disciplinary approach brings together a team of scholars and scientists with expertise in bioethics, maternal immunization, maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, philosophy, public health, and vaccine research.

You can download the PREVENT report on the subject of inclusion of pregnant women in vaccine trials in emergencies here. The authors make multiple recommendations to funders, industry as well as academia which may be of great interest to many of you. 

Our IMPRINT executive board member and challenge 5 co-lead Sonali Kochhar is part of the working team and co-authored the report.

PREVENT is a grant-funded project led by faculty at Johns Hopkins University alongside co-investigators at Georgetown University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with external contributions from Working Group Members. The PREVENT Project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

01 Dec 2018
Save the Date: 5th ReSViNET Foundation Conference RSVVW 2019 on novel RSV therapeutics.

The 5th ReSViNET Foundation Conference RSVVW 2019, a global conference on novel RSV therapeutics will be held on 12-14 November 2019, in the beautiful capital city of Ghana, Accra. The main goal of this conference is to offer a platform where the RSV community can share and discuss the latest research focusing on prevention as well as treatment of RSV infection. It aims to bring together stakeholders involved in RSV research such as scientists, physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and representatives from FDA, PATH, WHO, EMA, NIH, and BMGF.
 
Researchers and physicians from around the world are invited to join the discussion and share their knowledge. Specifically, scientists and physicians from low- and middle-income countries andyoung researchers are encouraged to attend, and may apply with the organizers to receive support.
 
A diverse program is being developed by the Scientific Advisory Committee, Our IMPRINT network PI Beate Kampmann being part of it, which will include: burden of RSV disease and mortality, molecular virology, immunology, prevention and treatment developments, global health perspectives and RSV-related sequelae. For more details on travel funds and latest updates, please visit the website (www.resvinet.org).



01 Nov 2018
IMNIS 2017 report

The Fourth International Neonatal and Maternal Immunization Symposium (INMIS 2017): Toward Integrating Maternal and Infant Immunization Programs“ has recently been published; it provides an overview of the proceedings of the 4th International Maternal and Neonatal Immunization Symposium held last year in Brussels, where presentations focused on the state-of-the-art research on the development and implementation of vaccines given during pregnancy for the protection of mothers and infants. All authors are IMPRINT network or board members.

01 Nov 2018
New Masters Programme in Vaccinology

The African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE) initiated Master of Science in Medicine in the field of Vaccinology starting from January 2019. This 18-month, full-time course will be hosted and run under the School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Clare Cutland, our Executive Board member and challenge 5 co-lead organizes the programme which will appeal to medical, science and public health professionals who have an interest in vaccinology. For more information on eligibility and costs, please visit their website and see attached information. The deadline for application is December 10th.

01 Nov 2018
Recent publications on vaccine confidence

Heidi Larson, our challenge 4 co-lead and director of the Vaccine Confidence Project has published the following articles and report on vaccine confidence this month:

  • The “State of Vaccine Confidence in the EU,” a report for the European Commission published in October by the LSHTM and the Vaccine Confidence Project, assessed the overall state of confidence in vaccines among the public in all 28 EU member states and among general practitioners (GP) in ten EU member states between 2015 and 2018. Confidence in (and demand for) vaccines is influenced by a number of factors, including the importance, safety, and effectiveness of vaccines. To examine the extent of public and GP confidence in vaccines, the authors conducted the largest ever study on attitudes to vaccines and vaccination in the EU. They have found a range of novel EU-wide and country-specific insights into vaccination behaviours that may immediately impact on public policy.
  • In The Lancet´s “The state of vaccine confidence” last week, Heidi suggests a five point plan on how to “move analysis into action” and overcome vaccine hesitancy.
01 Oct 2018
Successful travel scholars, Afro-ADVAC course, South Africa

From September 3rd – 12th of September, the African Advanced Vaccinology Course (Afro-ADVAC) was held in September in Gauteng, South Africa hosted by the African Local Initiative for Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE), University of the Witwatersrand, under the guidance of Professors Shabir Madhi and Helen Rees and with the strong support of our IMPRINT executive board member and our challenge 5 co-lead Clare Cutland.

The Afro-ADVAC course targeted mid- to senior level scientists, medical professionals and public health specialists, who are involved in vaccine development, clinical trials, implementation – or management of vaccination strategies, and who have decision-making or advisory responsibilities in their region or country.

IMPRINT awarded three travel scholarships to Dr Mbambole Ngwenyi Alake Grace, Sub-Director for Immunization at the Ministry of Public Health, Cameroon
Dr Smriti Mathema, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Kathmandu Medical College and Teaching Hospital, Nepal and
Dr Flaviah Namiiro, Paediatrician/ Neonatologist at Mulago National Referral Hospital and Honorary lecturer at Makerere University, College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.

Congratulations to the three of them – we hope you enjoyed the course!!

01 Oct 2018
IMPRINT sponsors three successful candidates to attend the GCRF Networks Vaccinology Course in Bangkok

Congratulations to Dr Lok Bahadur Shrestha, assistant professor at the B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Dharan, Nepal; Nasamon Wanlapakorn from Thailand, currently pursuing her PhD at the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool, UK and Dr Shona Moore, Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Liverpool, Institute of Infection and Global Health, UK. They successfully applied for IMPRINT scholarships to attend the GCRF Networks Vaccinology Course in Bangkok.

The 5 day workshop on veterinary and human vaccinology is run by the GCRF Networks in Vaccines Research and Development (IVVN, BactiVac, HIC-Vac, IMPRINT, and VALIDATE) in association with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO), through the European Commission for the Control of Foot and Mouth Disease (EuFMD), from Monday 3rd through Friday 7th December 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. The course, aimed at post-graduate students and early career researchers, addresses aspects of human and animal vaccinology, the vaccine development process, biomanufacturing, regulatory and ethical issues. The course will be delivered by an exceptional line up of world renowned academic and industrial speakers and resonates with the ‘One Health’ agenda by highlighting the synergies between the human and veterinary vaccinology fields from scientific, technological and regulatory perspectives. The course emulates the successful series of Jenner Institute training courses in Africa.

Congratulations to all of them!

Sign up for our membership, and receive news about current IMPRINT and external funding opportunities. For more information click here: GCRF Networks Vaccinology Course

01 Oct 2018
Workshop cum Expert Review Meeting on Maternal Immunization

Beate Kampmann, our network PI, Beth Holder, our challenge 1 co-lead and Sonali Kochhar, our challenge 5 co-lead, introduced IMPRINT at the “Workshop cum Expert Review Meeting on Maternal Immunization” September 10th in New Delhi, organized by the PRERNA Platform, KEM Hospital Research Centre Pune, with support from WHO-TDR Fellowship in Clinical Research and Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The meeting was attended by global and Indian public health, infectious disease, vaccine and clinical experts.

The objectives of the meeting were to

  • foster discussion among national and global leaders in maternal immunization to identify and prioritise research areas in maternal immunization in India
  • initiate research proposal development in maternal immunization in collaboration with national and international partners
01 Oct 2018
Immunology in the Tropics

The Makere/UVRI Infection and Immunity Centre of Excellence, Uganda is running an intensive two-week modular course “Immunology in the Tropics” from December 3rd – 14th in Entebbe, Uganda in collaboration with Wellcome Trust designed to cover all aspects of tuberculosis disease, from bedside to bench. Week one “The Immunology of Tuberculosis” offers up-to-date lectures, discussion of research papers and cutting-edge research talks by international expert; week two “Tuberculosis Practicals offers cutting edge practical immunology classes.

This is an advanced course ideally suited to PhD and MSc candidates, or clinicians and lecturers wishing to update their Immunology knowledge.

The application deadline is Friday, November 2nd, 2018.

For more information, please visit www.muii.org.ug.

01 Sep 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:

  • Impact of monovalent rotavirus vaccine on diarrhoea-associated post-neonatal infant mortality in rural communities in Malawi: a population-based birth cohort study

Naor Bar-Zeev, Carina King, Tambosi Phiri, James Beard, Hazzie Mvula, Amelia C Crampin, Ellen Heinsbroek, Sonia Lewycka, Jacqueline E Tate, Umesh D Parashar, Anthony Costello, Charles Mwansambo, Robert S Heyderman, Neil French, Nigel A Cunliffe, for the VacSurv Consortium

Lancet Glob Health. 2018 Sep;6(9):e1036-e1044. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30314-0.

Dr Naor Bar-Zeev and Prof. Neil French are our IMPRINT challenge 6 leads.

  • Professor Heidi J. Larson, Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and our IMPRINT challenge 4 co-lead talked to Buzzfeed about the current measles outbreak across Europe and  the public’s in vaccination.
18 Aug 2018
The Advancing Maternal Immunization collaboration (AMI) gap analysis report on RSV

Beate Kampmann, our IMPRINT network PI, and Naor Bar-Zeev, our challenge 6 co-lead, joined 58 other individuals across 25 organizations in 14 countries to publish the AMI gap analysis report on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) maternal immunization. The Advancing Maternal Immunization collaboration (AMI), coordinated by PATH in collaboration with the WHO, brings together diverse stakeholders from around the world and across immunization and maternal, newborn, and child health programs to identify a pathway to enable informed decision-making and introduction of maternal RSV vaccines, particularly in LMICs, and to provide tools to help decision-makers, implementers, researchers, and others navigate that pathway successfully.

Maternal vaccines are being developed for RSV and could be available in a few years, underscoring a need to establish an environment poised for vaccine decision-making and introduction now.

01 Aug 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:

Professor Chrissie Jones is the Co-director of IMPRINT and co-lead of challenge 2,
Dr Christopher Wilcox is one of our IMPRINT members.

01 Jul 2018
“Immunization in pregnancy clinical research in low- and middle-income countries – Study design, regulatory and safety considerations”

Sonali Kochhar, Jan Bonhoeffer, Christine E. Jones, Flor M. Muñoz, Angel Honrado, Jorgen Bauwens, Ajoke Sobanjo-ter Meulen, Steven Hirschfeld

Vaccine. 2017, Volume 35, Issue 48, Part A.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.03.103

Authored by our IMPRINT founding member and challenge 5 co-lead Dr Sonali Kochhar and co-authored by Dr Chrissie Jones, Co-director of IMPRINT and co-lead of challenge 2 as well as our IMPRINT members Dr Flor M. Munoz and Jorgen Bauwens.

In case you are interested in a detailed overview about Case definition & guidelines for data collection, analysis, and presentation of immunization safety data, please refer to these publications by Dr Sonali Kochhar and other IMPRINT network members.


01 Jul 2018
Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants available

The awards provide up to £25,000 over one year to support collaborations between developing countries and the UK and to hold networking events aimed at addressing global challenges. The scheme allows researchers from across disciplines and from developing countries and the UK to hold networking events, to forge new links and generate innovative transdisciplinary research ideas to address global challenges.

Key dates: Round 3 of the scheme is now open, and will close on 8 August 2018.  Click here for more information:
Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants


01 Jul 2018
Two new fellowship and six new pump priming grants awarded!

Congratulations to our new awardees and their collaborating partners! Titles and lay summaries of the projects can be found on our projects website.

18 May 2018
IMPRINT pump priming project N°3: Elucidating the effect of maternal immunisation on the subsequent development of T cell response following pertussis vaccination in infants

Summary:

Whooping cough can cause serious disease, particularly in young infants. In the UK, and other countries around the world, it is recommended that pregnant women receive the whooping cough vaccine in order to protect mothers and infants against whooping cough.  Antibodies (protective proteins) are transferred across the placenta from the mother to the infant and protect the infant in the first months of life, before the infant is protected by infant whooping cough vaccination. There are concerns that high levels of maternal antibody in the infant at birth may prevent the infant from producing such a good response to their own vaccines.  

There is a type of blood cell in the circulation called “T Follicular Helper” cells (or TFH cells for short.) These cells are thought to be important for how well the body produces the protective antibody proteins in response to vaccination. It is important to understand if vaccination in pregnancy can affect how well these specialised cells develop in the infant’s blood stream and therefore how well the infant responds to their own vaccines. Other specialised cells that are important to how well the infant responds to infections like whooping cough, such as “T” cells, may also potentially be affected by vaccination in pregnancy.

In this study, we will work with partners in Thailand who are already carrying out studies looking at whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy. We will work with samples that have already been collected, from infants born to vaccinated mothers and infants born to unvaccinated mothers. This will allow us to compare the infant’s cellular response to vaccination in these different groups of infants.

We hope that this study will improve our understanding of infant immunity and inform future vaccination strategies.

Project lead:

Dr Qibo Zhang

Senior Lecturer in Immunology

Institute of Infection and Global Health

University of Liverpool

Southampton, United Kingdom

IMPRINT partners:

Dr Elke Leuridan, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Prof. Yong Poovorawan, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Project duration: 12 months

15 May 2018
Research Session Announcement

Thousands of clinicians, researchers, residents, and students will come together for the annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases on May 28th – June 2nd in Malmö, Sweden.

Join our IMPRINT Co-PI Chrissie Jones for our Research Session on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 14:00-15:30 (Room: Romeo).

In addition, our IMPRINT Co-PI Dr Chrissie Jones will also be available during the “Meet the Professor” Session on Thursday; May 31st  at 7:00-7:25 (Session code ET15) and present “a randomized controlled trial comparing two pertussis-containing vaccines in pregnancy and vaccine responses in UK mothers and their infants (Immunizing Mums Against Pertussis, IMAP2), Thursday, May 31st  from 10:00-10.15 (Session code SET01).

18 Jan 2018
IMPRINT pump priming project N°5: Oral vaccines which generate immune responses in the vagina and prevent mother-to-baby transmission of infections during birth

Summary:

The ultimate aim of our work is to develop vaccines that will be taken by pregnant women and which will then protect babies from catching infections caused by, for example, HIV, hepatitis B and Zika, during birth.  The vaccines will be taken by mouth, but will have their effects in the mother’s vagina.  The oral route of vaccine taking has been chosen as this route is expected to have higher acceptability and be cheaper than injections, which have to be sterile, need to be given by medically-trained personnel and can be painful.  The cost factor is especially relevant in LMIC, for poorer people and where healthcare costs are largely borne by individuals, rather than the state.

For oral vaccines to have an influence in the vagina, they have to be prepared using specific chemicals, such that once a vaccine is swallowed, it is only processed in the large bowel (and nowhere else in the gut).  In this project, we will: i) identify those chemicals, ii) prepare the vaccines, and iii) test whether the prepared vaccines will be processed in the large bowel following swallowing.   

The results of this study will be used to apply for follow-on funding to determine whether such vaccines will have an influence in the mother’s vagina and protect newborns during birth.

Project lead:

Dr Sudaxshina Murdan

Reader in Pharmaceutics

UCL School of Pharmacy

University College London

London, United Kingdom

IMPRINT partners:

Prof. Abdul Basit, University College London, United Kingdom

Dr Fatme Mawas, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, MHRA, United Kingdom

Project duration: 8 months

18 Jan 2018
IMPRINT pump priming project N°4: Using in vitro mycobacterial growth inhibition assays as a tool to assess functional immune responses induced by VPM1002 vaccination in infants

Summary:

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a germ that can affect the lungs and in severe cases, the blood and the brain. Almost one million children, mostly from the tropics, suffered from TB in the year 2015. A vaccine called BCG is used to prevent this disease. It is given to babies and is able to prevent severe forms of TB that involve the blood and the brain but does not provide adequate protection from the lung form which is the most common. New vaccines that are able to do a better job at preventing TB in babies are needed. VPM1002 is a vaccine that has been developed to work better than BCG. It has been tested in adults and babies and the results show that it is safe, however we need to know how well it is able to kill TB germs. This study aims to use a tool in the lab to show how well the new vaccine, VPM1002 works in babies from Uganda, an African country where TB is common.

Project lead:

Mr Simon Gwapa Kimuda

Associate Scientist

Immunomodulation and Vaccines

Medical Research Council/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS

Entebbe, Uganda

IMPRINT partners:

Prof. Alison Elliott, Medical Research Council/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, Uganda

Prof. Gerhard Walzl, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Dr Helen Fletcher, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

Project duration: 12 months

01 Jan 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 GroupVaccine. 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. JonesFront 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.
  • “Immunization in pregnancy clinical research in low- and middle-income countries – Study design, regulatory and safety considerations”
    • Sonali Kochhar, Jan Bonhoeffer, Christine E. Jones, Flor M. Muñoz, Angel Honrado, Jorgen Bauwens, Ajoke Sobanjoter Meulen, Steven HirschfeldVaccine. 2017, Volume 35, Issue 48, Part A
    • Authored by our IMPRINT founding member and challenge 5 co-lead Dr Sonali Kochhar and co-authored by Dr Chrissie Jones, Co-director of IMPRINT and co-lead of challenge 2 as well as our IMPRINT members Dr Flor M. Munozand Jorgen Bauwens.
    • In case you are interested in a detailed overview about Case definition & guidelines for data collection, analysis, and presentation of immunization safety data, please refer to these publications by Dr Sonali Kochhar and other IMPRINT network members.
11 Dec 2017
Joint stand of all five vaccine networks at the British Society for Immunology Congress 2017 in Brighton

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.

08 Dec 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.