Roberto La Ragione
Translational Systems Vaccinology / Experimental Medicine
o Integration of animal and human clinical models of vaccine reactogenicity and efficacy in collaborative research to identify novel predictive biomarkers and fundamental cellular mechanisms using transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics, genomics and phenomics (BIOVACSAFE IMI project, ADITEC FP7 HIP).
o Integration of systems biological data from human and animal models into in silico mathematical models of cellular responses to infection, immunisation and adjuvants: e.g. mechanistic modelling of the macrophage aimed at adjuvant and vaccine target prediction in both human and animal systems (BIOVACSAFE).
o Understanding the responses of live vaccines to host factors using biological data and in silico models of bacterial metabolism/respiration. E.g. genome scale metabolic models (GSMMs) for TB, E. coli, Campylobacter and Brachyspira.
o Development of human and animal immunology models using licensed and experimental vaccines in studies of basic mechanisms of adjuvanticity, prime boost and antigen design integrated with iterative studies in primate and small animal models (ADITEC, EURONEUT41 FP7, MUCOVAC Gates GC, MRC/Wellcome HIV SPOKE, BBSRC DTP).
o Evaluation of autogenous vaccines for ESBL harbouring zoonotic pathogens on dairy farms (VMD, OD2028).
o Development of live attenuated vaccine candidates to protect against zoonotic infections in livestock (e.g. PoulVac, Project)
o Development of novel recombinant BCG vaccine and complementary diagnostics for bovine tuberculosis (BBSRC).
o Development of recombinant BCG vaccines for human and livestock diseases, such as African Swine Fever (Surrey/Pirbright Institute studentship).
o Genome-wide identification of protective antigens of BCG in cattle (Surrey/AHVLA).
• Vaccine Product Development
o BioBrick technology for enhanced delivery of multivalent veterinary vaccines (BBSRC DTP Studentship – African Swine Fever / TB / Salmonella vaccine).
o Capability to translate academic / commercial development from preclinical models for human vaccines, and in One Health context for zoonoses and cross-cutting human-veterinary vaccine development, specialising in adjuvant optimization, route of delivery, immunological readouts, mucosal immunity/delivery systems, live attenuated recombinant viral and bacterial bacterial vectors, gene therapy.
o MHRA Accredited Phase 1 Clinical Trials inpatient unit with full service CRO capability and GMO registration and capability which generates regulatory / preclinical toxicology dossiers, sponsors, conducts and monitors translational / early stage vaccine trials.