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About us

The HIC-Vac network was set-up with support from the GCRF Networks in Vaccines Research & Development, which is co-funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (part of the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union).

The Network is now funded by the Wellcome Trust

"Wellcome supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. We support discovery research into life, health and wellbeing, and we’re taking on three worldwide health challenges: mental health, infectious disease and climate and health."

The HIC-Vac network is directed by Professor Peter Openshaw and is hosted at Imperial College London within the National Heart and Lung Institute’s Respiratory Infection Section.

Our Aims

Our objectives are to deliver:

  • A mutually supportive network of investigators
  • Communication and advocacy for human infection challenge (HIC) studies through stakeholder engagement
  • Pump-priming projects to enable, enhance and extend HIC
  • Focus on LMIC capacity-building for conducting HIC studies
  • Develop and share topic-specific guidance and best practice including regulatory and ethical frameworks

Our strategic priorities

HIC-Vac has 8 strategic priorities, chosen to advance the use of HIC studies, especially in LMICS where high-impact pathogens cause the greatest morbidity and mortality.

  1. Methodology development
  2. Deeper analysis of existing samples
  3. Ethical framework development
  4. Attenuated challenge
  5. Regulatory development
  6. Challenge agent manufacture
  7. Effect of co-infection on challenge
  8. Comparison of natural infection with challenge

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