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Blog: News from the Vaccine World


Project presentation for lay people (Horizon Health)


Eleven PhD students (Early Stage Researchers) are employed by VacTrain. The VacTrain research and training program provides them with a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary and intersectional training in vaccinology which will lead to a PhD degree.


Mariateresa CoppolaMariateresa Coppola

Mariateresa (Italy) works at Leiden University Medical Center (the Netherlands) in the group of Tom Ottenhoff and Annemieke Geluk. She uses genomics, arrays and high-throughput sequencing technologies for the prediction of the efficacy and biosafety of TB vaccines. In addition, she characterizes protective immune responses to TB pathogens by comprehensive comparison of pathogen-specific immunity in health and disease.




Eleni PanagiotiEleni Panagioti

Eleni (Greece) works at Leiden University Medical Center (the Netherlands) in the group of Sjoerd van der Burg and Ramon Arens. She studies the magnitude, specificity, and quality of T-helper, CTL and regulatory T-cell immunity to CMV-specific antigens in protected healthy individuals and appropriate groups of patients, and evaluates novel therapeutic T cell-based vaccination approaches in a murine model for acute and chronic CMV.




Roberta RovitoRoberta Rovito

Roberta (Italy) works at Leiden University Medical Center (the Netherlands) in the group of Ann Vossen. She aims to identify prognostic markers for effective immune response and clinical outcome of congenital CMV infection by studying both viral and host-factors. To this aim she will use dried blood spots or neonatal blood from congenitally infected newborns in transcriptome profiling and next generation sequencing technologies.




Benedict HalbrothBenedict Halbroth

Benedict (Germany) works at Oxford University (United Kingdom) in the group of Adrian Hill. He tests newly identified liver-stage specific antigens of P. falciparum, the causative pathogen of malaria, in newly developed adjuvanted vectors. The immune responses and efficacy of these novel malaria vaccine candidates will be tested and monitored in pre-clinical mouse models using transgenic parasites for challenge.




Claudia LindemannClaudia Lindemann

Claudia (Germany) works at Oxford University (United Kingdom) in the group of David Wyllie. She assesses whether selected proteins from invasive S. aureus are immunogenic, using serological and T-cell analysis techniques. Subsequently, she will develop adenoviral vectors expressing these selected proteins, and determines the immunogenicity, protection and mechanism of protection of these vectors and vector combinations in intravenous challenge mouse models.



Ioanna ChristopoulouIoanna Christopoulou

Ioanna (Greece) works at the Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology (Belgium) in the group of Xavier Saelens. She works on the development of influenza A vaccines, by determining the local immune responses in control and M2e-immune mice as well as in mice being immunized with a conventional influenza vaccine. In addition, the protection against coinfection of S. aureus superinfection will be determined.




Esther Oiknine-DjianEsther Oiknine

Esther (France) works at Hadassah Medical Organization (Israel) in the group of Dana Wolf and aims to identify prenatal markers for congenital human CMV disease and to set up preventive strategies. To this aim, she will use a novel ex vivo decidual organ culture and study the effect of antivirals, hyperimmune sera and a set of monoclonal antibodies on CMV infection.




Ilona BaraniakIlona Baraniak

Ilona (Poland) works at University College London (United Kingdom) in the group of Paul Griffiths. She aims to develop and evaluate the efficacy of synthetic vaccines against human CMV. She will define epitopes inducing protective humoral (mediated by antibodies) immunity, and epitopes inducing cellular (mediated by T-cells) immunity as well as host responses to them.




Praneeth DevulapallyPraneeth Devulapally

Praneeth (India) works at Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (Germany) in the group of Hans Lehrach and Hans-Jörg Warnatz. He monitors vaccine efficacy and safety by high-throughput gene expression profiling and next-generation sequencing. He compares the profiles of the antibody V-gene repertoire in circulating plasma cells before and after vaccination, and performs targeted sequencing of DNA/mRNA enriched for antibody VH and VL chain genes.



Roshan GoswamiRoshan Goswami

Roshan (India) will work at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics (Italy) in the group of Barbara Baudner. He will optimize vaccine formulations by the use of immune-potentiators (or mucosal adjuvants) together with delivery systems such as various polymers or bioadhesives. These improved vaccine formulations will be first characterized in depth by applying state-of-the-art analytical tools, and subsequently tested in animal models.




Abhijeet NayakAbhijeet Nayak

Abhijeet (India) works at Valneva Austria GmbH (Austria) in the group of Andreas Meinke and Pär Comstedt. He aims to identify in vitro correlates of protection and protective antigenic Lyme Borrelia (LB) epitopes in order to select candidates for the development of a vaccine for Lyme disease. Additionally, he will test the capacity of vaccine candidates to stimulate LB-specific human T-cell activity in vitro.

Funded by the EU under the FP7 Marie Curie Action - Grant number: 316655