Optimmunize: Improving the beneficial effects of vaccines

19 - 21 February 2020Wellcome Genome Campus, UK
Deadlines (at 23:59 UTC):
  • Early bird deadline Closed
  • Bursary deadline Closed
  • Abstract deadline Closed
  • Registration deadline Closed

Ensuring immunity and improving overall health

  • Summary

    This conference aims at improving understanding of interactions between vaccines and the immune system, with a focus on the non-specific and sex-differential effects of vaccines.

    There is increasing evidence that vaccines, in addition to their disease-specific effects, have important off-target or non-specific effects. A number of major observations with significant implications for child survival have been identified, but the underlying immunological mechanisms remain largely elusive.

    The conference will bring together epidemiologists, immunologists and clinicians, as well as research scientists with complementary expertise, and parallel disciplines. We will discuss and explore various aspects of the non-specific effects of vaccines, including their impact on neonates and infants, how generalisable and durable these effects are, the implications for geriatric and veterinary medicine, and why non-specific effects should differ between sexes and across the lifespan. The objective is to have an open and transparent discussion of the science, while focusing on how to further optimize the use of vaccines.

    We would like to encourage networking and discussion and welcome particularly young researchers to engage with speakers and fellow delegates. We invite early career scientists to prepare one critical question relevant to the meetings’ topics. Your questions can be submitted during the registration process. The organisers will select the most thought provoking questions which will be discussed in a panel session.

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  • Programme

    The conference will start at approximately 1 pm 19 February and close at approximately 2pm on 21 February 2020.

    Topics will include

    • Importance of non-specific effects of vaccines
    • Evidence from clinical trials
    • Effects of vaccines on the epigenome
    • Sex differences in immunity and response to vaccines
    • Potential off-target use of vaccines
    • Vaccination of the elderly
    • New vaccines/testing products in pipeline
  • Organisers / Speakers

    Scientific programme committee

    Christine Stabell Benn

    Christine Stabell Benn
    University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

    Rebecca Chandler

    Rebecca Chandler
    Uppsala Monitoring Centre, Sweden

    Nigel Curtis

    Nigel Curtis
    The University of Melbourne, Australia

    Eleanor Fish

    Eleanor Fish
    University of Toronto, Canada

    Sabra Klein

    Sabra Klein
    Johns Hopkins University, USA

    Keynote Speaker

    Mihai Netea

    Mihai Netea
    Radboud University, The Netherlands

    Confirmed speakers

    Peter Aaby – Bandim Health Project, Guinea-Bissau
    Petra Arck – Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
    Nigel Curtis – University of Melbourne, Australia
    Rebecca Chandler – Uppsala Monitoring Center, Sweden
    Hazel Dockrell – LSHTM, UK
    Denise Faustman – Massachusetts General Hospital, USA
    Adam Finn – University of Bristol, UK
    Katie Flanagan – Monash University, Australia
    Sabra Klein – Johns Hopkins University, USA
    Darryn Knobel – Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, West Indies
    Tobias Kollmann – Telethon Kids Institute, Australia
    Ofer Levy – Boston Children’s Hospital, USA
    Camille Locht – Institut Pasteur, France
    Inna Ovsyannikova – Mayo Clinic, USA
    Marjorie Robert-Guroff – National Cancer Institute, USA

    Conference organiser

    Nicole Schatlowski, Scientific Programme Officer
    Jemma Hume, Conference & Events Organiser

  • Registration / Accommodation
    Early bird discount
    (until 26 November)

    Standard rate
    (after 26 November)
    Student No accommodation £269 £369
    Student On-site twin accommodation £376 £476
    Student On-site single accommodation £442 £542
    Academic No accommodation £369 £469
    Academic On-site twin accommodation £476 £576
    Academic On-site single accommodation £542 £642
    Commercial No accommodation £469 £569
    Commercial On-site twin accommodation £576 £676
    Commercial On-site single accommodation £642 £742

    The registration fee includes entrance to the lectures and poster sessions, an abstract book, meals (lunch and dinner) and refreshments during the conference. Breakfast will be provided for delegates who have booked accommodation.

    Accommodation is provided for the nights of 19 and 20 February 2020. Please note: there is limited onsite accommodation and this will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, early registration is recommended.

    If you wish to book onsite accommodation either side of the conference dates, please contact the Conference Centre directly.

    Travel visas
    Contact the conference organiser if you require a letter to support a travel visa application. Please note: letters will only be provided to confirmed registrants.

    Non-European Economic Area or Swiss nationals may be required to have a visa to enter the UK.
    Early application is strongly advised, as this process can take 6-8 weeks or longer.

    Please visit the following websites for further information:

    Accommodation services phishing scam – please be vigilant. More information.


  • Abstracts

    We welcome abstracts from all areas relevant to the main themes of the meeting, for both oral and poster presentations. Several oral presentations will be chosen from the abstracts submitted.

    Abstracts will only be considered from registered delegates. Please use our online abstract submission system and follow the instructions given to ensure your abstract is submitted correctly. All abstracts must be submitted by the deadline. If you are intending to submit more than one abstract, please contact the conference organiser prior to registration.

    The scientific programme committee will assess your abstract after the deadline has passed and you will be notified whether you have been selected for an oral or poster presentation.

    Poster boards onsite will accommodate 118 cm high by 84 cm wide (A0- portrait) of printed material. Accepted abstracts will appear in the conference programme book and poster boards will be allocated at the conference.

    Abstract deadline: 7 January 2020

  • Bursaries

    A limited number of bursaries are available for early career scientists and medical trainees to attend this conference. These have been generously provided by Vaccines, the Wellcome Genome Campus Scientific Conferences programme and a private donor.

    Registration bursaries (up to 50% of the standard registration fee), provided by Wellcome Genome Campus Scientific Conferences

    Travel bursaries

    • Bursaries (up to £400), provided by
    • Bursaries (up to £600)


    For all bursaries the following documents will need to be provided as part of the bursary application:

    • Abstract (to be submitted via the portal during the registration process)
    • CV
    • A justification letter (explain how you will benefit from attending the conference)
    • A supporting letter from supervisor
    • Estimation of travel costs (if applying for a travel bursary)


    Please state in your application if you would like to apply for a registration or travel bursary or both. If you apply for a travel bursary you will need to arrange travel through our travel agent.

    All bursaries will be awarded on merit and the amount will be determined by the conference organiser. To apply, please contact the conference organiser. You will be sent a unique registration link which will hold your place, without taking payment, until you have been notified of the outcome of your application.

    If you have already registered for the conference you are still welcome to apply for a bursary, please contact the conference organiser.

    Bursary deadline: 7 January 2020

    Additional funding opportunities
    Visit our support page for additional financial support currently available.

  • Sponsors

    This conference has been made possible thanks to our valued sponsors.



    If you are interested in supporting this meeting, please contact the conference organiser.


Email the organiser
+44 (0)1223 495100

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