Grants awarded

The impact of vaccine platform on the cellular drivers of humoral immunity

Grantholder:

Dr Carolyn Nielsen

University of Oxford

United Kingdom

Vaccines introduce our immune systems to a harmless form of a pathogen, inducing our B cells to produce protective pathogen-specific antibodies. Not all vaccines are equally effective at driving these B-cell responses. One important factor is the ‘platform’ of the vaccine, i.e. how the pathogen is delivered.

I will use three approaches to compare antibody and memory B cell (mBC) responses between two malaria vaccines with different platforms. I will develop tools to isolate pathogen-specific mBCs post-vaccination, and I will link the type of mBC to the quality of the antibodies produced. I will then perform gene expression analyses of the mBCs.

These studies will help us understand how a vaccine platform affects the cellular responses driving antibody immunity so that we can optimise vaccines to increase antibody production. While I will be working with malaria vaccines, these principles should be applicable to other diseases.