The BactiVac network has officially launched at the University of Birmingham after successfully receiving funding.
BactiVac is a network that supports the study, development and implementation of bacterial vaccines. Recent funding has helped them successfully launch and they have planned their first networking event. The BactiVac Inaugural Network Meeting was held on the 26th and 27th of February 2018.
Infections account for just under 20% of all deaths worldwide, and are particularly problematic in low-middle income countries (LMICs). Bacterial infections contribute significantly to this burden, killing approximately five million people annually. The crisis of antimicrobial resistance means our options for controlling infections is narrowing. Vaccines save millions of lives yearly and are a cost-effective approach to prevent infectious disease and their devastating sequelae.
There are many bacterial infections against which we lack any licensed vaccine. To address these issues, the MRC (The Medical Research Council) and BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council), through the Global Challenges Research Fund, have funded a number of vaccine-related networks. Our Network, BactiVac (Bacterial Vaccines) was launched in August 2017 following the award of £2.2m and is led by Professors Cal MacLennan and Adam Cunningham.
Our purpose is to establish a global bacterial vaccinology network. Through this, we will accelerate the development of vaccines against bacterial infections, particularly those relevant to LMICs. The BactiVac Network will bring together academic, industrial and other partners involved in vaccine research against human and animal bacterial infections from the UK and LMICs. The Network will foster partnership and provide catalyst project and training funding to encourage cross-collaboration between academic and industrial partners.
The BactiVac Inaugural Annual Network Meeting will be held on 26 & 27 February 2018 at the Nicolson Building, University of Birmingham. The meeting will focus on sharing our vision, objectives and strategy and will provide our members with the opportunity to shape these further. The annual Network meetings are open to all our members and will offer invaluable opportunities for networking with other experts in the field of vaccine development and delivery.
We have a fantastic line up of speakers and sessions at our Inaugural event and are honoured to have University of Birmingham’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood opening the meeting. Invited speakers include colleagues from academia, industry and high profile agencies: World Health Organisation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control.
We have also awarded 19 travel bursaries to support member attendance from LMICs.