Ebola: Response, sequencing, vaccines and survivors

Please note new time. Refreshments provided - please arrive early

The European Mobile Laboratory (EMLab) was the first EBOV diagnostics unit deployed to the outbreak epicentre by WHO in March 2014. This enabled access to many thousands of EBOV positive samples which were transported back to Europe and analysed by deep sequencing platforms to reveal the virus mutation rate and gain in site into pathogen transmission (Carroll et al Nature 2015). Using the MinION, miniature sequencing device, the EMLab subsequently performed NGS on positive samples within Guinea in as little as 24 hours from receipt of positive samples. This enabled the provision of real time molecular epidemiology that helped guide the frontline activities of contact tracing to help halt the transmission chains (Quick et al Nature 2016). The research arm of the EMLab, EVIDENT, also established a study to dissect the immune response of EBOV disease survivors and make comparisons with that induced by vaccination. Additional studies on direct contacts of people infected with EBOV, indicates that many of them have immunity to the virus suggesting the official number of those infected during the outbreak is a significant underestimate. EVIDENT also supported the phase III ring vaccine trial and the favipiravir JIKI therapeutic trial.

Miles Carroll joined Public Health England as Deputy Director, Head of Research at Porton Down in September 2008. In his current role he is responsible for > 250 scientists and support services personnel. He also has strategic and operational control to ensure that the Department is at the forefront of translational research in the areas of emerging diseases, diagnostics and decontamination, host pathogen interactions, infectious disease vaccines and therapeutics.

Miles gained his PhD from the Medical Faculty at the University of Manchester which enabled him to obtain an International Fogarty Fellowship and continue his studies on recombinant poxviruses at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, USA. On his return to the UK, Miles Joined Oxford Biomedica as Vice President of Immunotherapy. At OBM Miles invented the cancer vaccine, TroVax and led the pre-clinical and Phase II development programme.

Miles has authored >60 publications primarily in the field of recombinant vaccines and emerging diseases, and has >10 granted patents. He has acted as an advisor to several biotech companies, appeared as an expert witness in both European and US patent cases. He also serves on the Scientific Review Boards of both Animal and Plant Health Institute (Weybridge) and Defence Science and Technology Laboratories. Miles is honorary Professor of Vaccinology at the Medical Faculty of the University of Southampton.