Our long-term goals are to define the molecular mechanisms by which human antibodies can inhibit malaria parasites, and to translate this knowledge into highly innovative and effective vaccine candidates
Prof Simon Draper
Vaccine Development and Antibody Immunology
Simon Draper is Professor of Vaccinology and Translational Medicine at the University of Oxford. He was based at the Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine from 2005 until Feb 2021 when he moved his laboratory to the Department of Biochemistry. The group's clinical team are based at the University's Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine (CCVTM) on the Churchill Hospital site.
The Draper Lab study vaccine-induced immunity, with a particular focus on antibody immunology and human malaria infection. A critical strength of the group is a strong dual focus on preclinical vaccine development in parallel with early-phase clinical vaccine testing and experimental medicine studies. In particular, the group's research interests span: strategies for improved vaccine antigen identification; development of improved vaccine delivery strategies; assessment of quantitative antibody correlates of protective immunity; and assessment of human vaccine-induced antibody responses to guide structure-based immunogen design and to better understand protective mechanisms of immunity.
To-date the group has undertaken 16 proof-of-concept Phase I/II clinical trials assessing novel vaccine delivery platforms and immunisation regimens; developing controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) models for Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax; and testing novel blood-stage malaria vaccine antigens (PfRH5 for P. falciparum and PvDBP_RII for P. vivax) including the first assessment of PfRH5-based vaccines in the field via collaboration with the Ifakara Health Institute in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. The group has a strong track record of partnering with biotech and pharma, and participation in numerous collaborative programmes with academic and industrial partners, seeking to develop improved vaccines or antibody-based therapeutics.