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The Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) conducts studies of new and improved vaccines for adults and children against diseases including meningococcus, pneumococcus, RSV, influenza, typhoid and paratyphoid. The group is based in the Department of Paediatrics in the University of Oxford at the Oxford Vaccine Centre, Churchill Hospital, and is led by Professor Andrew J Pollard.

Group photo Ann Waterhouse
Group photo

Clinical Research

Vaccines are a key component of global public health policy and are particularly important in the defence of the health of young children. Despite the challenges of so doing, new and improved vaccines must be evaluated in the target population of infants and young children prior to licensure. The Oxford Vaccine Group has enrolled over 10,000 children and young people into clinical trials in the Thames Valley since 2001. The clinical trials undertaken in the UK since 2001 include phase IV studies of a meningitis C vaccine and a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; a phase II study of a new pneumococcal vaccine for infants; phase II and III studies of quadrivalent meningococcal vaccines and group B meningococcal vaccines; phase II studies of a preschool vaccine; evaluation of a novel avian and swine influenza vaccines in adults and children; study of different schedules for immunisation of the elderly against pneumococcal infection. Epidemiological studies have included evaluation of carriage of Haemophilus influenzae type b and Streptococcus pneumonia throughout childhood in the UK and Nepal, surveillance of invasive bacterial infections in children admitted to Patan hospital in Kathmandu. Qualitative research studies have evaluated parental views about immunization, vaccine research and influenza vaccines. The group has a particular interest in the ethics of consent in childhood and is working with the Centre for Ethics on studies evaluating the process of consent in school age children.

Laboratory Research programme

The laboratory research programme has used the clinical material provided by the clinical trials group to drive a series of projects evaluating the developing immune system in the infant. The group has specifically focused on the development of B cell memory after immunization with glycoconjugate vaccines and has found correlations between the generation of memory during priming and the persistence of the immune response. A major programme is focussed on the development of a novel serogroup B meningococcal vaccine from preclinical studies through to clinical trials. In a ground-breaking study, the group are developing a human typhoid model for the evaluation of typhoid vaccines. The group also undertakes sero-epidemiological studies and is examining acquisition of natural immunity to various organisms in the UK and Nepal. A bank of DNA is being collected form children enrolled in vaccine trials and several studies of the genetic control of the immune response following immunisation are currently underway.

 

Group Head Biography
ANDREW J POLLARD, FRCPCH PhD, is Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at the University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, James Martin Senior Fellow, Jenner Institute Investigator, Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America, Fellow of St Cross College and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital, Oxford, UK. He obtained his medical degree at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, University of London in 1989 and trained in Paediatrics at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, UK, specialising in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK and at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, Canada. He obtained his PhD at St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK in 1999 studying immunity to Neisseria meningitidis in children and proceeded to work on anti-bacterial innate immune responses in children in Canada before returning to his current position at the University of Oxford, UK in 2001. He chaired the UK’s NICE meningitis guidelines development group, and chairs the NICE topic expert group developing quality standards for management of meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia. He sits on the Department of Health committee that considers use of meningococcal vaccines. He runs one of the largest research groups in the UK that undertakes clinical trials in children and adults with 70 staff. Current research activities include clinical trials of new and improved vaccines for children and adults, surveillance of invasive bacterial diseases in children in Nepal, studies of cellular and humoral immune responses to glycoconjugate and typhoid vaccines, and development of a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. His publications include over 200 manuscripts and books on various topics in paediatrics, infectious diseases, and high altitude medicine.


History of the Oxford Vaccine Group

OVG was founded in 1994 by Professor E. Richard Moxon and established offices in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital before moving to the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine in the University of Oxford at the Churchill Hospital in 2003.

Our team

Nepal Earthquakes - Experiences from our colleagues

Shrijana ShresthaImran AnsariBibek Khadka & Sanjeev Bijukchhe talk about their experience of the Nepal earthquakes here. Sarah Kelly (5th from the left) has added images to the soundtrack and originally presented it at the OVG away day, but their moving stories deserve a wider audience! 

Listen and Watch

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