Lister Fellow Updates: Funding Updates and New Research Papers

In this article we share some of the latest funding news and research papers published by our Fellows and Members in recent months.

New funding secured for HIV vaccine research

Lister Fellow Dennis Burton is a member of a consortium that was recently awarded a substantial grant to further research into HIV vaccines.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded the team $129 million in order to support their work refining key HIV-combatting immunogens, developing scalable manufacturing approaches for their production and testing target immunogens in early-stage human clinical trials.

Click here to find out more about the grant.

Dennis Burton is Co-chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research California Campus. You can find out more about his career here and see the latest research from his lab on this page.

Simon Draper publishes new paper on human antibodies that combat malaria

Lister Fellow Simon Draper plays a key role in a consortium of five institutions that are looking into how human antibodies can combat malaria infection.

A recent paper in Cell details some of the results of this investigation, explaining that the researchers have identified for the first time the specific human antibodies which can prevent the malaria parasite from entering blood cells.

It is hoped that these results will help pave the way to the creation of a highly effective malaria vaccination.

Simon Draper is Professor of Vaccinology and Translational Medicine at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford. As he explains in this article for the University website:

“The malaria parasite has a protein called RH5, which must bind to a human protein on red blood cells called basigin in order to infect them. In this study, we were able to demonstrate which human antibodies effectively block RH5 from binding with basigin, thus preventing the parasite from spreading through the blood.”

Last year Simon Draper presented some of his research into malaria at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition – click here to find out more.

You can also find out more about his work on the University of Oxford website.

New papers in Nature

Lister Fellow Dr Sarah Teichmann has recently published a paper in Nature Medicine on mapping of the building blocks of the human lungs and airways.

The paper, entitled A cellular census of human lungs identifies novel cell states in health and in asthma, describes the first ever comprehensive mapping of lung and airway building blocks, in both asthma patients and healthy people.

It is hoped that such improved understanding of how lung cells work, and the signalling processes they use, could contribute to the development of new asthma drug targets.

Dr Teichmann is Head of Cellular Genetics and Senior Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. You can find out more about her career and research here.

Dr Teichmann also recently co-authored a paper in Nature with Lister Fellow Professor Muzlifah Haniffa, amongst other collaborators.

The paper is entitled Decoding human fetal liver haematopoiesis and discusses the identification of the repertoire of human blood and immune cells during fetal development, relating to fetal liver haematopoiesis.

Using a single-cell transcriptome profiling approach, approximately 140,000 liver and 74,000 skin, kidney and yolk sac cells were analysed and categorised in a new, integrated map of fetal liver haematopoiesis.

It is hoped that this will provide a useful blueprint and reference for the study of blood and immune disorders in children.

Muzlifah Haniffa is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science and Professor of Dermatology and Immunology at Newcastle University – you can find out more about her work here.