A new research centre that aims to reduce the global burden of vaccine-preventable infections in people and animals has been launched at the University of Liverpool.
The Centre for Global Vaccine Research (CGVR) brings together a multidisciplinary team of leading scientists to inform the development, implementation and optimal use of vaccines against leading infectious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and meningitis.
Housed within the University’s Institute of Infection and Global Health, the CGVR will link vaccine research across the University and facilitate increased engagement with external partners, including industry. The Centre will also focus on generating evidence to inform national and international vaccine policies and providing education and training opportunities for a new generation of vaccine scientists.
Home and abroad
Current vaccine research studies led by the University are supported by £13.2 million of funding and are based here in the UK and at overseas collaborating units in Malawi, Kenya and India. Projects include improving the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines in babies living in the poorest countries; identifying new vaccine candidates for Streptococcus pneumoniae, trypanosomiasis and bovine digital dermatitis; and leading a global initiative to advance the development of a vaccine for river blindness.
The new Centre is co-directed by Professor Nigel Cunliffe and Professor Neil French, who previously led pivotal clinical trials of pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines in Malawi, which resulted in global changes in vaccine policy.
Professor Cunliffe said: “Although immunisation has been one of the great success stories of global health, many important infections of animals and humans, both in industrialised and tropical settings, lack effective vaccines for their control.
“The CGVR provides us with a fantastic opportunity to bring together a wealth of research experience and expertise to improve the effectiveness of current vaccines and drive the development of new vaccines, in order to help negotiate this vital global research challenge.”
The CGVR celebrated its official launch on Friday, 4 November at the Liverpool Medical Institution.
For further information about the CGVR please visit: www.liverpool.ac.uk/vaccines