The NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has awarded £5 million for research into how infectious diseases spread and develop into epidemics in low- and middle-income countries, so that new vaccines can be tested in clinical trials or used more effectively in future outbreaks.
This new funding will support research into how epidemiological models, tools and technologies can assist with clinical trials and deployment of new vaccines in outbreak situations in low- and middle-income countries.
The funding for this research call was recommended by the UK Vaccine Network, chaired by Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, following the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak.
Prof Whitty said: “This research is part of a concerted effort to control outbreaks of the world’s deadliest diseases. Supporting research into promising vaccines and ways of delivering them has the potential to save thousands of lives in the future. I am delighted that the NIHR, with UK aid funding, is supporting world-class global health research that will deliver benefits for patients and the public in low- and middle-income countries.”
The £5 million of new funding has been awarded to five research projects; three of which will be led by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and two by the University of Oxford.