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Date: Monday 21 March 2022

Time: 17:30 - 18:30

(Timings for this event are in GMT.)

Professor Rajko Reljic delivered his inaugural lecture "New approaches for prevention of tuberculosis: the story so far." on Monday 21 March 2022.

Professor Reljic focussed on the novel approaches to vaccine development and immunotherapy of tuberculosis (TB).

As TB is a respiratory disease, matching the route of infection and delivering vaccines offers the greatest promise of generating more protection through local immunity in the lungs, compared to the current BCG vaccine.

In the lecture, Professor Reljic described several mucosal vaccine concepts and addressed the successes and challenges of respiratory vaccine delivery. The promise of mucosal delivery of IgA antibody-based immunotherapy against multi-drug resistant TB was also discussed.

The concept of the so called ‘self-adjuvanting’ vaccines was also introduced as well as their potential in the context of TB, dengue and SARS-CoV2 infections.

This lecture was a hybrid event, taking place in The Curve lecture theatre Ground Floor, Hunter Wing (followed by refreshments in the Student Union Bar) at St George's, University of London, and online via MS Teams.

Watch a recording of the lecture

About Professor Reljic

Professor Reljic graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and completed his Master’s degree at the National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, London. He then went on to do his PhD at the King’s College London, in the Biophysics Department of the Randall Institute. His PhD was on interactions of the IgE antibody with its receptors and the functional consequences.

Professor Reljic then did postdoctoral training at the University of Cambridge, Department of Medicine, working on a project to determine the role of the transcription factor BCL-6 in B cell development and large B cell carcinoma. He entered the TB field upon his return to King’s College London, where he worked as a Research Fellow on the role of IgA antibodies in TB. This was followed by his first academic appointment in 2006, at St George’s, where he continued working on TB, focusing on mucosal vaccine development and immunotherapy.

His work at St George’s was instrumental to winning a major 8 million Euro EU-funded consortium grant for mucosal TB vaccine development, which he coordinated. Professor Reljic is currently Chair of the TB aerosol vaccine and mucosal immunity Group at CTVD, at the Gates Foundation, and Management Board Member of the MRC and Gates Foundation funded Network for difficult intracellular pathogens. His other research interests also include dengue, Buruli ulcer, and more recently SARS-CoV2 infections.

About our Inaugural Lectures

St George's newly arrived or promoted professors are invited to give an inaugural lecture to mark this milestone in their academic careers. Professors use the opportunity to introduce themselves, update colleagues on current and future research plans, and share their research with wider audiences. It is also a chance to celebrate the support from friends and family, and from colleagues, mentors, and collaborators past and present.

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