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Dr Rajko Reljic and Dr Mathew Paul attended the annual general meeting of the TBVAC2020 consortium and the symposium ‘TB vaccines and Immunity’ (http://www.tbvi.eu/presentations-tbvi-symposium-tb-vaccines-and-immunity/ )  in Les Diablerets, Switzerland, 1-5 February. Dr Reljic presented an update on progress of the EMI-TB project and both were invited to TBVAC2020 Steering Committee meeting to discuss future cooperation between the two consortia. Several lines of cooperation were identified with a joint late stage pre-clinical testing of the most promising vaccine candidates at the later stages of the projects being one of them.

EMI-TB held a successful 2nd annual project meeting in Stockholm, hosted by Martin Rottenberg and Carmen Fernandez.

EMI-TB participants at the 2nd AGM

 EMI-TB braves the snow at the 2nd AGM 

Dr Barry WalkerEMI-TB is pleased to announce that Dr. Barry Walker is joining the project as a member of the scientific advisory panel. With over 20 years of experience in clinical and applied research focused on infectious diseases and vaccines, particularly tuberculosis, Dr. Walker has an impressive background in vaccine development and a successful track record supporting vaccine candidates moving from the bench to the clinic.

For over 20 years, Dr. Walker has been a Principal Scientist and Principal Investigator at the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control in London, where he helped facilitate and promote advancement of potential TB vaccines along the product development pathway, successfully supporting preclinical development to Phase I clinical studies. Dr. Walker also served as a core member of the Product Development Team within the TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI), providing regulatory advice and recommendations to vaccine developers and manufacturers.

Dr. Walker worked previously as a scientist at the Leprosy and Mycobacterial Research Laboratories at the National Institute of Medical Research in London and as the Senior Research Officer at the Department of Bacteriology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at the Hammersmith Hospital, in London. He earned his B.Sc. and PhD. at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia.

HTDr Harry Thangaraj joins EMI-TB as project IP manager. Dr Thangaraj has extensive experience in the managment of IP generated from collaborative academic projects, having previously worked on the EU FP6 'Pharma-Planta' action and co-ordinated the FP7 'Access to Pharmaceuticals' project. He has a particular interest in the responsible management of IP to ensure the benefits of an invention are not restricted to wealthy countries and individuals and are instead available where need exists. 


EMI-TB co-ordinator, Dr Rajko Reljic, said "Harry's role will greatly facilitate management of any future IP that may be generated in this project. The appointment of an IP manager will help ensure that EMI-TB is able to take advantage of IP commercialisation opportunities while upholding and promoting the principles of Socially Responsible Licensing."

SGULSt George's University of London has been providing formal training for doctors since 1733. Approximately 3,000 medical students are currently enrolled in courses taught on the campus, which adjoins St George's hospital in Tooting, south west London. Scientific research at St George's has expanded over recent years to encompass a broad spectrum of interests from novel microbicides and vaccine candidates through to the study of early human development.

Research interests on the combined Medical School and Hospital site are extremely wide-ranging, encompassing a spectrum from leading-edge fundamental investigations to applied clinical and Health Services research. The research of most relevance to the EMI-TB consortium is that conducted at the Institute for Infection and Immunity. Research at the institute aims aims to develop a better understanding of pathogen biology and human immune responses to enhance diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious disease and conditions linked to immune system function. A new vaccine institute was opened in 1998, building on a heritage that goes back to Edward Jenner, a student of the school and the man who invented the modern concept of vaccination.