VALIDATE is an international network of vaccine researchers focused on four pathogens causing diseases with significant impact on low and middle-income countries: tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, melioidosis and leprosy. Our seminars highlight some of the important research being undertaken by our extensive community of researchers. We will put details of any upcoming seminars on this page.

Upcoming Seminars


Development of recombinant BCG Vaccine for tuberculosis utilizing Major Membrane Protein-II (MMP-II) antigen

Taking place Online, 15:00 BST, 29 June 2023 

Development of recombinant BCG Vaccine for tuberculosis utilizing Major Membrane Protein-II (MMP-II) antigen

In this talk, Dr Yumiko Tsikamoto will discuss her innovative research which has led to the development of a recombinant BCG vaccine against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This novel vaccine features MTB-derived MMP-II and has been further modified by depleting the UreC gene, which stimulates phagosome-lysosome fusion in host cells infected with the recombinant BCG. Yimko will discus results from in vivo experiments that used a mouse model and show that this vaccine inhibits the multiplication of M. tuberculosis in the lungs much more efficiently than the traditional host BCG. Remarkably, the research team also achieved the development of an antibiotics-free recombinant BCG, utilizing cutting-edge auxotrophy-based recombination techniques. These groundbreaking findings represent a major advancement in the ongoing global effort to combat tuberculosis.

This talk will feature an introduction from VALIDATE Investigator Prof Manabu Ato.

Find out more and register -


Spore-FP1 mucosal vaccine candidate for TB

Taking place 15:00 BST, 4 July 2024

SGUL Seminar

Two fascinating presentations by two VALIDATE members from St George's, University of London will focus on the development of a potential Spore-FP1 vaccine for tuberculosis (TB). Prof Rajko Reljic will examine the Spore-FP1 mucosal vaccine candidate based on the fusion protein of Ag85B-Acr-HBHA/heparin-binding domain adsorbed on the surface of inactivated Bacillus subtilis spores. The vaccine candidate demonstrated significant protection in mice and guinea pigs when used as a mucosal boost to BCG, but did not improve the efficacy of BCG alone in NHP. Mr Emil Vergara will then explore the potential of two subunit vaccine candidates, Spore-FP1 and Nano-FP1, as post-exposure TB vaccines in mice with pre-existing lung mycobacterial immunity elicited with Mycobacterium bovis BCG. Results showed an increasing trend in the frequency of tissue-resident memory T cells, antigen-specific effector CD4 and CD8 T cells, and mucosal and systemic antibody responses among mice that received candidate vaccines.

Find out more and register:

VALIDATE 2023 Seminars

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In this seminar, Dr Apichai Tuanyok discussed his team’s multidisciplinary research to investigate the epidemiology of melioidosis in southern Thailand. 

The seminar took place via Zoom on 22 February 2023 at 15:00 GMT.

Video coming soon -  

For our first VALIDATE Event of 2023, we hosted an exciting double bill: Two talks, covering two pathogens, from two VALIDATE members at the Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunisia. 

You can watch the two talks below:

Targeting FOXO3 transcription factor as a Host-Directed approach to enhance the efficacy of BCG against Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
with Prof Makram Essafi

Professor Makram Essafi will speak about his work on targeting the FOXO3 transcription factor as a host-directed approach to enhance the efficacy of BCG against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Vaccine against Human Leishmaniasis: Institut Pasteur de Tunis Contribution
with Prof Dhafer Laouini

In this seminar, Dr Apichai Tuanyok discusses his team’s “One Health” approach and multidisciplinary research to investigate the epidemiology of melioidosis in southern Thailand. 





VALIDATE Winter Seminars 2022

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Seminar took Place 14 December - 15:00 GMT

In this seminar, Dr Luciana Balboa will discuss how her team focused on unravelling the immunometabolic pathways that regulates leucocytes’ functions and their impact on the control of TB. To study the impact of TB-associated microenvironment on the functionality of M1 macrophages, they used the acellular fraction of pleural effusions from TB patients (TB-PE). Interestingly, they found that M1 macrophages exposed to TB-PE displayed a lower expression of HIF-1α and a reduced glycolytic activity, impairing the control of the bacterial growth.


Seminar took place 16 November 2022 - 15:00 GMT

Antigen-delivery vaccine platforms that promote humoral and cellular responses while maintaining a safe profile are a roadblock to developing subunit vaccines against Burkholderia pseudomallei. The Torres Lab at UTMB has used gold nanoparticles for the delivery of multicomponent antigens, identified by the bio-immunoinformatic analysis, that is able to induce vaccine-mediated immunity, promoting protection against melioidosis disease.

In this talk, Prof Alfredo G Torres discussed his team's latest research on nanovaccines.

VALIDATE ECR Summer Showcase Seminars

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Session 1

This session took place at 10:00am BST on 22 June 2022

Watch the video:  To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

Chair: Dr Naomi Daniels

Naomi Daniels







 Speakers and Topics​​

Epidemiological characteristics of melioidosis in Southern Vietnam via the number of culture-confirmed cases at the largest referral general hospital

Dr Nguyen Ho Lam
University of Medicine & Pharmacy, Vietnam

Adjuvants for vaccine: receptor ligand-based molecular interaction to ​​​​​​discover adjuvants ​​​​​for human toll-like receptors

Dr Nidhi Gupta
Central University of Rajasthan, India

Development and application of the mycobacterial growth inhibition assay (MGIA)

Dr Rachel Tanner
University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Speakers and Topics

This session took place at 16:00 BST on 13 July 2022

Watch the video:  To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

The underappreciated role of neonatal BCG vaccination in educating gut microbiota

Assistant Professor Nargis Khan
Department of Microbiology, University of Calgary, Canada                                                                                                                               

Using non-human primates for TB Vaccine evaluation

Dr Laura Sibley​​​
UK Health Security Agency, United Kingdom

Generating vaccines against tuberculosis based on our knowledge of mycobacterium biofilms

Dr Cristian Segura-Cerda (CHAIR)
CIATEJ, Mexico


"A Vaccine for...?" Seminar Series - Watch now on YouTube

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This seminar took place on 28 June 2022 at 16:00 pm BST

This is the third in our "A Vaccine for" seminar series, in which leading experts will provide an overview of the state of vaccine research for VAIDATE’s focus pathogens. In "A Vaccine for Leprosy?", Dr Khushboo Borah and Dr Chyntia Carolina Díaz Acosta discuss the prospects for a vaccine for Leprosy, the disease caused by Mycobacteria Leprae of which there are still over 200,000 new cases of diagnosed every year.

This seminar took place on 18 May 2022 at 13:00 BST

In this seminar, Prof Mukhopadhyay and Dr Dastidar discuss the prospects for a vaccine for Melioidosis, the disease caused by a bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is found across tropical and semi-tropical regions worldwide.

This seminar too place on 6 April 2022 at 10:00am BST

In “A Vaccine for Leishmaniasis?”, Prof Mitali Chatterjee and Dr Mohamed Osman provided an overview and update on the current state of research into vaccines for a disease that causes up to 40,000 deaths annually.

The seminar is especially interesting to vaccine researchers who do not study leishmaniasis.

The event took place at 10:00 am BST, on 6 April 2022.



Special Seminar

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Yumi Maeda Seminar

The seminar took place at 10:00 GMT, 30 November 2021

Speaker: Dr Yumi Maeda, Leprosy Research Center National Tokyo Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan 

Watch the video:  To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

BCG is the most studied vaccine and holds promise. Several studies indicate that BCG confers some protection against leprosy. In this talk, Dr Yumi Maeda, of the Leprosy Research Center National Tokyo Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, discusses how her team constructed a recombinant BCG that secretes Major Membrane Protein-II of M. leprae, and found that it was effective in inhibiting the growth of M. leprae in mice footpads. Studies are underway to produce BCG that is stable and can be used for large scale preparation.

Detection of leprosy is also necessary for early treatment. From the analysis of the genomic sequence, specific genes coding for antigens of leprosy were selected for evaluating the antibodies in the sera of patients, and user-friendly tools are also being developed.

VALIDATE Industry Seminars 2021 - Watch Now

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This seminar took place on 15 July 2021

Dr Xiao discussed the Immunology of latent TB infection (LTBI) and active TB disease, the granuloma formation and T cell medicated immunity and the immunology behind T cell-mediated immunity tests.


Dr Yupei Xiao has PhD in Respiratory Medicine with over 10 years of clinical research experience in haematology-oncology and respiratory medicine. Dr Xiao currently works in medical affairs for IVD company, and she is an experienced speaker and expert in clinical and scientific communication.

This seminar took place on 27 April 2021

COVID has provided a stark example of pathogenic mutation. The variation of the impact of infection on the population similarly shows that human responses are variable. This highlights a key need in vaccinology of identifying and developing technologies that can address diversity whilst maintaining safety and achieving cost-effectively. In this session, Graham Clarke explores the options and particularly highlight ImmBio’s approach, exemplified by its lead development against Streptococcus pneumoniae, a good example of a bacteria in circulation with a wide array of genotypes. Whilst there are products available providing good protection against specific serotypes, as defined by the polysaccharide capsule used in the current class of vaccines, ImmBio’s focus is a multiple-protein approach. A new approach raises new regulatory and manufacturing challenges but again drawing on COVID experience, vaccinology may be able to able to benefit from a paradigm shift in addressing risk and benefit, enhancing the attractiveness of investing in new vaccines.

​​​​​​Speaker: Graham Clarke is ImmBio’s Chair and previously its CEO. Originally a biophysicist, he has held senior-level positions including at SmithKline Beecham, GSK and GE Healthcare. He is now a non-executive on a number of boards, including the UK’s Medicine Discovery Catapult and NHS Health Research Authority. He has also been a member of the UK government’s COVID therapeutic task force.

This seminar took place on 11 March 2021

In an upcoming publication in Nature Biotechnology, Dr Sheila Keating and her team have demonstrated the technology to capture entire immune repertoires from infected or vaccinated individuals, to be used to treat difficult to treat infections - and have demonstrated this work with COVID and respiratory bacterial infections. In this talk, Dr Sheila Keating described the technology and will mapped 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. Location: Online via Microsoft Teams ​​​​​​


Dr Sheila Keating is a VALIDATE Network Investigator Adjunct Associate Professor at GigaGen and the University California San Francisco. Over the past 15 years, Sheila's work has focused on understanding cellular and humoral immune responses to vaccines and infectious diseases and, more recently, has focused on using high throughput immune assays to measure biomarkers of immune response or pathology in a number of studies ranging from HIV, HCV, HBV vaccine breakthrough, Chagas, West Nile Virus, cardiovascular disease, neuropathology and many other areas.

VALIDATE Winter Seminars 2020 - Watch on YouTube Now!

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This seminar took place on 15 December 2020.


Dr Maria Adelaida Gomez is VALIDATE Network Investigator and a Coordinator at the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Lab at CIDEIM in Cali, Colombia. Adelaida is currently working to unravel the host-pathogen interactions and underlying mechanisms that determine the outcome of human Leishmania infections and therapeutic responses, towards the identification of host and parasite biomarkers of treatment outcome, and intervenable host functions to optimize therapeutic strategies.


This seminar took place Online on 3 December 2020



Giorgio Colombo is Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Dept of Chemistry, University of Pavia. Prof Colombo has authored or coauthored more than 150 scientific publications in international journals, and works to integrate molecular dynamics, computational physical-chemistry and bioinformatics approaches to study the dynamics and specificity of protein-ligand recognition and binding.

Louise Gourlay is an Assistant Professor in Biochemistry at the Department of Biosciences at the University of Milan, Italy. Asst Prof Gourlay is a structural biologist and biochemist with a principal interest in using 3D structure information, obtained via X-ray crystallography, to re-engineer protein antigens/epitopes from Burkholderia pseudomallei, to improve their potential use as immunogens in a melioidosis vaccine and on developing novel, immunodiagnostic tests for emerging infections.

This seminar took place on 24 November 2020


Professor Samantha Sampson is a TB researcher and heads the Host-Pathogen Mycobactomics Research Group at Stellenbosch University. The group aims to gain a better understanding of how the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis interacts with its host to cause disease.

Dr Jomien Mouton is a post-doc in Prof Sampson's Host-Pathogen Mycobactomics Research Group at Stellenbosch University and is a VALIDATE Fellow. Dr Mouton's work focuses on establishing and validating a new dual-reporter system that can be utilised to identify and isolate “persister” populations of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

VALIDATE Summer Seminars 2020 - Watch now!

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To watch the video, VALIDATE members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place on 1 September 2020


Bernardo Villarreal-Ramos is VALIDATE Network Investigator and Professor of Immunology at the University of Aberystwyth and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), UK with a research focus on Tuberculosis, animal models, vaccines and T-cells.

Amanda Gibson is a VALIDATE Network Associate and Lecturer in Innate Immunology at Aberystwyth University whose research interests lie in underpinning early events required for establishing infection; the interaction between mycobacteria and host cells, particularly with the innate immune system at the point of recognition and uptake and initial responses leading to disease. 

To watch the video, VALIDATE members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place on 29 July 2020


Associate Professor Hiro Goto is a VALIDATE Network Investigator based at the Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil. Hiro's research focus is on immunopathology and the diagnosis of leishmaniasis.

Eduardo Milton Ramos Sanchez is a VALIDATE Network Associate and Post-doctoral researcher presently working at the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Sao Paulo, USP, Brazil. Eduardo has been involved in the purification and production of recombinant antigens for the development of serological tests for leishmaniasis and Malaria and vaccines for Bovine mastitis.

To watch the video, VALIDATE members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place online on 23 July 2020

Speaker: Mary Burtnick is a Network Investigator and Associate Professor based in the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. Mary has nearly two decades of experience working with pathogenic Burkholderia species and her current research focuses on the identification of antigens expressed by Burkholderia pseudomallei that can be used to develop novel vaccines, diagnostics and immune assays to combat melioidosis.


To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place online on 30 June 2020


Prof Siobhán McClean is an Associate Professor at School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, UCD.  Prof McClean has a research interest in host pathogens associated with respiratory pathogens that cause opportunistic infections and in identifying vaccine antigens that are protective against Burkholderia pseudomallei.

Dr Julen Tomás Cortázar is a postdoctoral researcher at UCD. He is leading part of a project funded by Wellcome Trust agency to develop a vaccine against Melioidosis caused by the Gram-negative bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei.

Watch the Seminar: Members can watch first logging on to WebLearn and then clicking here.

Seminar Archive

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To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.

This seminar took place on 15 January 2020

VALIDATE Network Management Board member Prof Andrea Cooper delivered this seminar on 15 Jan 2020 at the Jenner Institute, and has kindly agreed for us to share it with all VALIDATE members. 


To watch the video, members can contact VALIDATE to request access.


VALIDATE seminar - Developing a better vaccine against TB

This seminar took place 15 February 2019 and was led by Prof Helen McShane and Dr Rachel Tanner.

TB kills more people than any other infectious disease. The efficacy of the only available vaccine, BCG, is highly variable and lowest in high burden settings. The McShane group is developing novel TB vaccine candidates by identifying novel antigenic targets and exploring novel routes of immunization.

TB vaccine development is challenging given the lack of defined immunological correlates of protection. Class II restricted T cells are critical for protective immunity but may not be sufficient. Dr Tanner provided an update on functional mycobacterial growth inhibition assays and on a role for antibodies in protective immunity.

zelmer fletcher seminar

This seminar took place on the 6 December 2017 at LSHTM and was led by Dr Andrea Zelmer and Dr Helen Fletcher, LSHTM.

Immune correlates of risk of TB disease have recently been identified in human clinical trials.  These correlates indicate that, years before TB disease develops, there is alteration in the host-immune environment which is associated with risk of TB disease. Perhaps these alterations render the immune environment permissive to mycobacterial infection or increased growth, or perhaps they reduce the efficacy of the BCG vaccine?  Back translation of immune correlates of risk into animal models will enable us to address these questions and model the immune response of those individuals at greatest risk of TB disease.

Members can watch the seminar on LSHTM's Panopto Account