Guest speakers

Dr. Katie Ewer

Senior Immunologist-Malaria and Ebola Vaccine Trials

The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Dr Ewer is a Senior Immunologist at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford and she leads a program of exploratory immunology studying vaccine-induced immunity to malaria and emerging pathogens, such as Ebola. Her doctoral thesis looked at T cell responses to tuberculosis and work during her PhD led to the production of a new blood test for diagnosing TB infection, which is widely used clinically. After this, she applied the same technology to diagnosing bovine tuberculosis and studied vaccine-induced correlates of protection in a bovine TB model. Her research interests now focus on T cell responses to malaria induced by vaccination with viral vectors and in 2013, she reported the first CD8+ T cell mediated-correlate of protection induced by vaccination. Assessing immunity induced by viral vectored vaccines has led to vaccine trials in several developing countries including The Gambia, Dakar and Burkina Faso and her team collaborate with local scientists to assess immunogenicity in malaria-exposed cohorts and age de-escalation studies.

The Jenner Institute develops vaccines for a range of human and livestock diseases, including malaria, TB, HIV, flu, Rift Valley fever, Ebola and Zika. Vaccines are based on recombinant viral vector and VLP technology. Our vaccine development pipeline includes all stages of production from antigen and vector design, preclinical testing, GMP manufacture to Phase I and II clinical trials in the UK and Africa. Dr Ewer leads a team of immunologists and students that analyses vaccine-induced immunity in volunteers participating in pre-erythrocytic malaria, Ebola and emerging pathogen clinical trials to assess humoral can cell-mediated responses. Her group also undertakes research on the mechanisms of induction of immunity and how this can vary between different age-groups and in cohorts with extensive malaria exposure, with the aim of using this knowledge to improve the design of vaccines targeting paediatric and malaria-exposed populations.