Updates from the MPRU Conference 2021

27 May 2021

Thank you to all speakers, panelists and attendees for making the MPRU Conference 2021 informative, engaging and thought provoking. The lively discussions accompanying each session made this virtual conference feel closer to an in-person meeting, which we hope to resume when the situation is safer.

Faith Osier gave the first keynote lecture, sharing interesting and important updates on malaria immunology and vaccine development. The second keynote talk by Salim Abdool Karim shed insight into the challenges, successes and shortcomings in making health policy decisions during this COVID-19 pandemic. Early career researchers (ECRs) presented their results from various mucosal pathogens studies, including (i) updates on an experimental human challenge model with Neisseria lactamica, (ii) impact of vaccination and antimicrobial therapy on microbial population structure, and (iii) using modeling to fill in gaps in epidemiology studies and to maximise the benefits of intervention strategies.

On the public engagement front, Rodrick Sambakunsi gave an inspiring update on the "One for All: All for One" vaccine engagement initiative in Malawi. As part of the Career and Research Development session, Ijeoma Uchegbu, Tumani Corrah and Iruka Okeke gave honest and motivating advice to ECRs, especially those from LMICs, on how to navigate and succeed in research. We hope that all attendees left the conference feeling inspired and re-energized.