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VALIDATE has been very busy this last quarter! We launched our BCG100 campaign and have hosted six events for our members and/or the public. The VALIDATE Network now has 430 members from 220 institutes across 67 countries, and you can find introductions from some of our newest members toward the end of this newsletter.

Due to the COVID pandemic VALIDATE's activities in 2020 and 2021 have been, and will continue to be, online. While we greatly miss the chance to meet our members in person, the benefit of this is that our events have never been more accessible to all our members. Connect with us and your fellow members online at our events, via the directory, social media, or via our Hub.
BCG100 Campaign Update


Our campaign marking 100 years since the first use of the BCG vaccine for humans began on World TB Day, 21 March 2021, with a series of online activities and VALIDATE's first public lecture. We have also begun work on our BCG Adventure Computer Game Series.

"BCG Adventures" Sneak Peak


VALIDATE was awarded a Wellcome Enriching Engagement grant to support the development of four educational video games. We have started working with two amazing game developers, and are on track to launch our first two games in July. Below you can see some preliminary images from the games.

Albert and Camille's Little Lille Adventure is an adventure and exploration game where you have to develop the first BCG vaccine in Occupied Lille in 1917. In the classic platform game Vaccine Delivery Adventure, you control a healthcare worker as they bring BCG to communities in increasingly more challenging environments. 

There is still much to do on these games and VALIDATE members can still get involved to help us with the scientific content of the game; do get in touch if you're interested - validate@ndm.ox.ac.uk.


100 Facts About TB and BCG


As part of our BCG100 activities we have been posting 100 TB infographics on Twitter, including topics like the history of TB, how it was identified, what species it can infect, as well as cameos from the Bronte Sisters, Dracula and Tom Jones. Find out more, and retweet your favourite infographics, using #BCG100Facts.

Upcoming Event - BCG100's 2nd Public Lecture

 

TB and the use of BCG in animals: Does it matter to people?

 
It’s been over a century since the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine was first used in cattle. After initial widespread use, the practice was replaced with a test and cull approach halfway through the twentieth century.  However, the emergence of wildlife reservoirs of TB and the recognition that test and cull strategies are not possible in many countries has led scientists to re-evaluate the use of BCG in animals. In this talk, Prof Michele Miller and Prof Glyn Hewinson will discuss why effective vaccine programmes for animals are essential to the health and wellbeing of humans and the challenges that we still face in making such programmes a reality.

This will not only be a great event for VALIDATE members but will also be suitable for non-scientists, so please help us spread the word by sharing the link with your friends, family, students or anyone interested in science.
 
The event will take place online on 9 June 2021 at 18:00 BST and you can register now
www.validate-network.org/event/bcg100-animals

Past Events Round-Up

VALIDATE ECR Workshop Series 2021
These workshops aimed to help VALIDATE Early Career Researchers (ECRs) widen and improve the non-technical skills necessary to progress their careers.

        

 

24 February
Prof Helen McShane and VALIDATE Network Manager Samantha Vermaak shared their experiences both in applying for grants and reviewing grant applications.

Watch the workshop on VALIDATE Hub.

 

17 March
VALIDATE Network Manager Sam Vermaak shared
her tips to plan and run a successful research project and to manage your research grants.

 


VALIDATE Industry Seminars

       

Addressing Pathogen and Human Diversity - 27 April
30 people joined VALIDATE members on Teams to hear from Graham Clarke, Chair from immBio, a company developing next-generation vaccines against serious infectious disease targets. In the seminar, Graham talked about how variable human immune responses highlights the need in vaccinology to identify and develop technologies that are able to address diversity.
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You can watch the seminar on the VALIDATE YouTube Channel
 

Capturing and recreating recombinant polycloncal antibodies for passive immunization - 11 March
On 11 March 2021, 20 people gathered on Teams to hear a talk from Dr. Sheila Keating of GigGen.
Sheila discussed technology that will map out potential pathways for developing passive immune therapeutics that will not only treat but also help to prime immune responses to protect against future infections.

You can watch the seminar on the VALIDATE YouTube Channel

If you have anything you would like to present in a future VALIDATE Seminar, get in touch - validate@ndm.ox.ac.uk.

BCG100 Events

    

BCG Then & Now - 24 March 2021
On World TB Day 2021, VALIDATE held its first online public lecture. 150 people from around the world attended the talk featuring Prof Helen McShane, Prof Paul Fine and expertly chaired by Prof Helen Fletcher. Paul and Helen took the audience on a journey from the initial development of the vaccine to the modern-day challenges in the fight against TB and the future challenges researchers face in replacing the enduring BCG vaccine.

You can watch and share the video above or on the VALIDATE YouTube channel.


BCG100 for Schools - 11 May 2021

In May, over 50 school students joined VALIDATE members Michele Miller and Wynand Goosen for BCG100 for Schools: Pathways to becoming wildlife researchers. Michele and Wynand talked about their exciting careers paths, their research tracking and combatting wildlife TB in South Africa, and explained why one should always make sure a buffalo is fully sedated before approaching.

You can watch and share the video above or on the VALIDATE YouTube channel

Welcoming New Members


VALIDATE continues to grow and we have welcomed a large number of new members to the community over the last three months. Check out their profile and get in contact if you think they could be part of your next collaboration.
VALIDATE Investigators
Dr Jerome Nyhalah Dinga – University of Buea, Cameroon
Asst Professor Charles Gauthier – INRS, Canada
Asst Prof Tanya Dimova – Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
Prof Daniel Freeman – University of Oxford, UK

VALIDATE Affiliates
Dr Chyntia Díaz Acosta – IICS-UNA, Paraguay
Dr Magdalena Druszczynska  – University of Lodz, Poland
Dr Micha Roumiantzeff – Association Franco-Russe, France

VALIDATE Affiliates
Dr Ingrid Cabrera Puig – University of Oxford, UK
Miss Sumaya Mohayideen – KCCR, Ghana
Dr Nisha Makan – University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Mr Anshu Raj Dahal – Science Communicator, Nepal
Mr James Webb – Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, UK
Mr. Nck de Vrij – Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp, Belgium
Ms Susana Flores Villalva – University College Dublin, Ireland
Mr Satyendra Singh – Central University of Rajasthan, India
Miss Ursule Demaël – University of Oxford, UK
Ms Monika Vivekanandan – KNUST, Ghana
VALIDATE membership is free and open to all, so please share details of how to join with friends and colleagues: www.validate-network.org/joining-validate.
We post any relevant jobs, grants, events and training that we spot on our website and social media so do take a look!

VALIDATE Publications - new this quarter by our members

Increasing tuberculosis burden in Latin America: an alarming trend for global control efforts.
BMJ Global Health

Identification and phenotype of MAIT cells in cattle and their response to bacterial infections.
Frontiers in Immunology

Leishmaniasis immunopathology—impact on design and use of vaccines, diagnostics and drugs. Seminars in Immunopathology

Antigen-specific antibody and polyfunctional T cells generated by respiratory immunization with protective Burkholderia ΔtonB Δhcp1 live attenuated vaccines. NPJ Vaccines

Dissecting pathways to thrombocytopenia in a mouse model of visceral leishmaniasis. Blood Advances
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, or connect with other members via the VALIDATE LinkedIn.

The VALIDATE Hub
Connect and chat with members easily on our VALIDATE Hub - where there's even a channel specifically for ECRs to network and support each other, and one for anyone looking for collaborators.

Attend a meeting
Meet other VALIDATE members, in person or online at our annual meetings, workshops, and seminars.

Follow us on social media
      
Copyright © 2021 VALIDATE Network - VAccine deveLopment for complex Intracellular neglecteD pAThogEns. All rights reserved.

Email validate:
validate@ndm.ox.ac.uk

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