The aim of the VADER (Vaccine Design and Immune Responses) EID programme is to train four early stage clinical and non-clinical researchers in vaccinology, immunology and microbiology in the context of developing new vaccines for global health. The four individual PhD proposals involve vaccines that tackle two main groups of bacteria responsible for high levels of mortality in the developing world: those that cause invasive Salmonella disease (S.Typhi, S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis) and those that cause meningococcal meningitis (Neisseria meningitidis).
The VADER programme has been established between two institutes:
1. Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health (NVGH), Italy, the industrial partner with a specific mission to develop effective and affordable vaccines against neglected infectious diseases of impoverished communities.
2. University of Birmingham (UoB), UK, the academic partner with strength and depth in bacterial immunology and molecular microbiology.
The scientific and technical objectives of VADER can be summarised as:
1. Bringing together and consolidating complementarity in terms of the industrial and academic excellence provided by both partners in vaccinology, immunology and microbiology with a common objective of advancing Global Health.
2. Facilitating the timeliness of translation of academic advances in the field of immunology and microbiology into vaccine development with reciprocal transfer of research questions from industry back to academia in relation to vaccine development, thereby driving new clinically-relevant academic research. The quick turn-around of research and ideas between the partners is appropriate in an industrial setting where timelines are key and delays in vaccine development can translate to thousands of lives lost.
3. Fostering the exchange of scientists between academia and industry and demonstrating that mobility between the two sectors and between different European States is not only possible, but is also beneficial to career development and translation of research into improved patient care.
4. Increasing the visibility of the benefit of close cooperation and collaboration between industry and academia in relation to vaccine development and enhancement of Global Health.