A new monkeypox research consortium is being created to develop better diagnostic tests, identify potential therapies and study vaccine effectiveness and the virus’s spread. The consortium will bring together 25 leading researchers and scientists from 12 institutions across the UK, with funding from the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), both part of UK Research and Innovation.
The consortium will be led by the Pirbright Institute and the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, and will aim to address areas including:
– developing new tests and identifying potential control measures;
– screening potential drugs;
– studying the virus and how it infects humans;
– characterising the genome of the virus;
– understanding the human immune response to the virus and the vaccine;
– identifying animal reservoirs;
– studying the effectiveness of the smallpox vaccine.
Journalists dialled into this briefing to hear from some of the scientists leading this new consortium, and to asked them questions about all things monkeypox.
Prof Bryan Charleston, co-lead of the new consortium, and Director of The Pirbright Institute
Prof Massimo Palmarini, co-lead of the new consortium, and Director of the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research
Prof Geoffrey Smith, Head of Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge
Prof Emma Thomson, Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases, MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research
Dr Geraldine O’Hara, Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust