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Synthetic biology and cloud computing could revolutionise vaccines

Mosquito

Chikungunya infectious disease, spread by mosquito bites, causes extreme pain, incapacitation and potentially death.

Vaccines

26 September 2019

Vaccines are our best defence against the growing risk of global epidemics. But they must be kept cold in order to work, which can be a challenge in developing countries. Researchers from the University of Bristol and CNRS (The French National Centre for Scientific Research) partnered with Oracle to develop a new kind of vaccine that needs no refrigeration. They used synthetic biology, cryo-electron microscopy and Oracle’s high-performance cloud computing infrastructure to produce a candidate vaccine against the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus.

Their results, which have been published in Science Advances, could revolutionise the way vaccines are designed, developed and stored.

The partnership between Oracle and the University research team was facilitated by Elizabeth Blackwell Institute at the University of Bristol. As a University Research Institute operating in health and life sciences, the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute is well placed to identify synergy between business and our health researchers to make connections for collaborations that benefit all.

Richard Seabrook, Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Advisor for Business Development, said: “This latest example, which ultimately has huge potential for global health, was thanks to a successful partnership between the business sector and our University research team.

“The business sector can often provide resources that are difficult otherwise to access, and the reciprocal applies too where the University has a world leading resource often a research insight into a difficult area of research. Collectively universities and business can share risk and accelerate the development of a new concept.

“By working together, the research has benefited from the enhancement of cutting-edge computer performance and the expertise of world-leading researchers in this field, to achieve results in a much shorter timescale than could have been achieved otherwise. We are proud to have helped connect these bright minds with the right technology to help fight infectious diseases worldwide.”

Elizabeth Blackwell Institute provides a science led approach to business engagement across the life and health sciences, irrespective of discipline, and because of its cross-university perspective we are often able to nurture a more integrated offering for business.

We are building links between our research community and partners in the business sector; providing support to establish and sustain strategic partnerships with business to both advance science and deliver benefits to society. We provide researchers with value adding scientific led engagement with business and enhance the research and its potential for impact.

Get in touch with us to find out how you could benefit from a partnership between University of Bristol and business. Email our Advisor for Business Development: Richard Seabrook.

Read the full Chikungunya vaccine story where you can watch a video about the research.

Further information

Paper

'Synthetic self-assembling ADDomer platform for highly efficient vaccination by genetically-encoded multi-epitope display' by Vragniau et al in Science Advances

Max Planck-Bristol Centre for Minimal Biology

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers a complete suite of integrated applications for sales, service, marketing, human resources, finance, supply chain and manufacturing, plus highly automated and secure generation 2 infrastructure featuring the Oracle Autonomous Database. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), visit www.oracle.com

French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)

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