Roslin Foundation Studentship - Mechanism of Action for Immune Response Induction Using Solid Dose Vaccines

   College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

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  Prof J Hope, Dr T Connelly  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Supervisors: Jayne Hope, Tim Connelley, Pawan Dulal (aVaxziPen Ltd)

Vaccination is the single most effective intervention to prevent and eradicate infectious disease throughout the world in humans and animals. Two major hurdles in the large-scale deployment of vaccines are the need for stable vaccines and the ability to induce long-term protective immunity which usually requires booster vaccination. For many diseases there is an urgency for development of novel vaccines and delivery methods. This requires detailed understanding of the mechanisms that underpin protective immunity, and how different vaccine formulations or delivery methods affect the immune response.  

In collaboration with our industry partner, aVaxziPen Ltd, we will assess the immune response in cattle to novel vaccine formulations. The solid dose vaccine(SDV) technology developed by aVaxziPen is an adaptable platform suitable to many vaccines constructs suitable for human and animal applications.

Early results at aVaxziPen with influenza vaccine in a small animal model indicate that, with the use of aVaxziPen's SDV formulations, protein-based vaccines have the potential to achieve significantly improved results compared to conventional approaches and may lead to cheaper vaccine alternatives. Employing aVaxziPen's needle-free, SDV formulations can offer a compelling avenue for enhancing vaccines and mitigating concerns associated with traditional liquid vaccination. We hypothesise that the depot effect caused by the slow and steady dissolution of the SDV allows recruitment and maturation of antigen-presenting cells at the site and draining lymph nodes that then induce strong immune responses. However, the mechanisms are not understood and will be assessed in this project using a candidate tuberculosis (TB) vaccine.

The project will focus on bovine tuberculosis (bTB), an important disease affecting cattle across the world. Mycobacterium. bovis, the causative agent of bTB, is a zoonotic pathogen which also causes TB in humans. Improved vaccines and delivery methods are urgently required for TB control in both species.

The student will work with our industry partner aVaxziPen Ltd and collaborators at the Future Industries Institute (University of South Australia) to generate a detailed understanding of the SDV and the mechanisms of immune response induction which will help in the commercial development of the technology. 

Biological Sciences (4)

Funding Notes

This 4 year studentship opportunity is open to UK and international students and provides funding to cover enhanced stipend, tuition fees and enhanced consumable and travel costs.
Application form can be downloaded via
Applications should be emailed to [Email Address Removed]
If you are applying for more than one studentship please submit a separate application with a closing date of noon on 8th January 2024 at


Hope et al., Clin Vaccine Immunol, 2011. 18:373
Pearton et al., Adv Healthc Mater., 2013. 2:1401
Bauer et al., Life, 2021. 11:1237

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