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The WHO/TDR alumni meeting brings together EVI fellows in Cape Town

19 December 2022

European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) is dedicated at strengthening public health and vaccine research capacities in the fight against diseases of poverty and emerging infectious diseases. EVI recognises that training of scientists from LMIC is a key component in building a long-term sustainable and vibrant local research environment. In 2015, EVI joined the EDCTP/TDR Clinical Research and Development Fellowship (CRDF) scheme as a hosting institution. The CRDF scheme is jointly implemented by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and TDR, the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.

The CRDF scheme supports junior to mid-career researchers from LMICs to acquire specialist skills in clinical research and product development through placements in pharmaceutical companies and Product Development Partnerships (PDPs). EVI, a PDP with focus on vaccine development, supports fellows in becoming future leaders in vaccinology by providing training in antigen discovery, vaccine development and clinical research according to international guidelines particularly for early-stage vaccine development. Since the beginning of EVI’s involvement in the programme, nine researchers from sub-Saharan Africa and one researcher from Colombia with different educational backgrounds and working experiences were hosted by EVI.

WHO/TDR Fellows hosted by EVI. From right to left: Fabrice Somé, Eric Nébié, María del Mar Castro, Siaka Débé, Fassiatou Tairou, Moussa Niangaly, Amanda Wanyana, Moses Phiri and Robert Shey.

The World Health Organization (WHO) hosted the WHO/TDR Clinical Research & Development Fellowships alumni meeting of former and current fellows in Cape Town, South Africa, on 6-8 December 2022. A "resounding theme was how beneficial the fellowship opportunity was and how it has kept on impacting individuals and nations through ground-breaking research and collaboration" - as said by EVI Fellow, Dr Amanda Wanyana. Meeting participants identified and discussed emerging needs and provided recommendations relevant to the short- and long-term goals of the training actions.

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