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NEWSLETTER      December 2020
Welcome to the final VALIDATE newsletter of 2020. We hope our members have enjoyed, and will enjoy, the various festivals at this time of year, whether that be Hannukah, Diwali, or Christmas. We wish you a happy and productive 2021.

The VALIDATE community continues to grow and we now have 411 members from 208 institutes in 59 countries, all working towards developing vaccines for tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, melioidosis and leprosy.

We are always happy to welcome to new members whether they be Principal Investigators, Early Career Researchers or people with an interest in vaccine development, so do encourage your colleagues and collaborators to join.
VALIDATE Extended to November 2021
In excellent news, VALIDATE has been awarded a six-month no-cost extension by our funders, the MRC & BBSRC, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our activities and projects. With this extension, VALIDATE will be able to support its members until 30 November 2021, with lots of interesting activities and events planned for you all for 2021.

2020 Highlights

It's been an interesting year for the world with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting us all. Despite the challenges, VALIDATE and its members have had a busy and successful 2020. Here are some highlights:

VALIDATE Outreach Week 2020

One of VALIDATE’s key aims is to “help interested people in the general public find out more about our research and the diseases we’re tackling in an accessible format”. With this in mind, we're holding an Outreach Week from 7-11 December 2020 to give VALIDATE the chance to highlight all the amazing outreach efforts carried out across the globe by our members. We've also pulled together tips and advice from our members for engaging the public, to support you in your own outreach efforts during the week.


Your own Outreach Week project
A great way of getting involved is to undertake your own project during outreach week. This can be anything from writing to your local newspaper, appearing on a podcast, speaking at a school or delivering a simple social media campaign. We are especially keen to see photos and videos that we can share via social media.
Contribute to the Outreach Guide
VALIDATE’s Outreach Guide is written by VALIDATE members and some of our external partners and contains case studies, advice and resources that will help you engage the public with your important research. We hope that this will become a living document that will expand as members add their own case studies and experiences. If you have a case study you would like to contribute, get in touch.


Support VALIDATE for Schools

On 9 December, VALIDATE will be hosting an online talk and Q&A aimed at 15-18 year-olds interested in our research or considering a STEM career. 

There is still time to register interest so please share the link with any teachers you know:

VALIDATE Equipment Exchange - Update

VALIDATE coordinates equipment donations between our members, connecting researchers who have surplus equipment they want to donate with members able to put the equipment to good use.

A recent success saw 51 laboratory coats donated by Public Health England (UK) shipped by VALIDATE to our members at the University of Douala in Cameroon, NIMR-MMRC in Tanzania, and Université des Sciences de la Santé in Gabon, for use by students and staff in their labs.

"Again and again, I will not stop thanking you to help our research unit to grow and to give lectures in good condition"
Noé Patrick M'Bondoukwe, Université des Sciences de la Santé, Gabon

If you have any surplus equipment, get in touch with the VALIDATE team. Even simple items can make a big difference to our members, particularly those in LMICs.

VALIDATE Winter Seminars 2020
VALIDATE hosted two fascinating open seminars from members in South Africa and Italy
via Microsoft Teams:

M.tb in the host: Persisters and PE/PPE Proteins
with Prof Samantha Sampson & Dr Jomien Mouton from Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Computational approaches in structural vaccinology
& Structural biology for antigen-based therapeutics & diagnostics 

with Prof Giorgio Colombo from the University of Pavia & Asst Prof Louise Gourlay from the University of Milan, Italy

ICYMI - Watch the Recordings!
For those who missed the live talks, you can watch both seminars via the VALIDATE Hub - where you can also easily discuss the research with fellow VALIDATE members.

Coming Up: Final Winter Seminar

Our final seminar of the year with Dr Maria Adelaida Gomez will be held on 15 December 2020. You can register online and, as it is an open-access seminar, you are free to invite colleagues who are not VALIDATE members,
We post any relevant jobs, grants, events and training that we spot on our website and social media.

VALIDATE Publications - new this quarter by our members

Burkholderia pseudomallei as an enteric pathogen: identification of virulence factors mediating gastrointestinal infection. American Society for Microbiology

Multinucleated giant cell formation as a portal to chronic bacterial infections. MDPI

Vaccination with intradermal Bacillus Calmette-Guérin provides robust protection against extrapulmonary tuberculosis but not pulmonary infection in cynomolgus macaques. Journal of Immunology

Glycan–glycan interactions determine Leishmania attachment to the midgut of permissive sand fly vectors. Chemical Science

Mapping global trends in vaccine confidence and investigating barriers to vaccine uptake: a large-scale retrospective temporal modelling study. The Lancet
Please remember to include VALIDATE, EDCTP2 and the MRC in the acknowledgements section of any VALIDATE publications - and tell us about your papers so we can publicise them!

How To Build Your Network Via VALIDATE

Find a collaborator online
Use our online members directory to find and contact researchers with aligned research interests. You can also search by location and organisation using our Collaborating Institutes page.

Training grants
Associates can apply for our training grants to visit potential collaborators and discuss working together.

Attend a meeting
Meet other VALIDATE members, in person at our annual meetings and workshops, or log on to our virtual seminars.

Follow us on social media
Copyright © 2020 VALIDATE Network - VAccine deveLopment for complex Intracellular neglecteD pAThogEns. All rights reserved.

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