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Professor Kirsty Le Doare

Professor of Vaccinology and Immunology
Maternal vaccines, paediatric Infection and Immunity researcher in the UK and Uganda

Professor Le Doare joined the SGUL from Imperial College London in September 2018 as part of the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group. She trained as a clinician-scientist in Paediatric Infectious Diseases in the UK, the Gambia and South Africa. Kirsty holds a Chair in Vaccinology and Immunology and is a Principal Scientist at MRC/UVRI@LSHTM in Uganda where she is developing a maternal vaccine platform and surveillance of pregnancy outcomes in a large urban cohort. She was awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship in 2019.

In the UK and in Uganda her main research interests are age-related immune responses to infectious diseases in pregnant women and their babies. She is interested in improving our knowledge of how maternal antibody in blood and breast milk is passed to babies and how this protects them from colonisation and disease and how we might improve this with vaccination. Her group leads several clinical trials of investigative vaccines in Uganda.

She is jointly appointed to Public Health England as a principal scientist with the Pathogen Immunity Group, Porton Down.

I am a late starter to medicine, having initially graduated from LSE in Economics and working for NGOs for 10 years. I obtained my MBBS at St. George's University of London, MSc at Oxford University studying breastmilk Immunity and PhD at Imperial College, London studying immunity to Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in the Gambia and Fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (FRCPCH) in 2018. I was selected as a Foundation of Science and Technology Future leader in 2019, a scholarship aimed at involving scientists with government in the UK.

I am an invited member of the WHO expert advisory panel for GBS and the UK Department of Health Scientific advisory panel for GBS. I serve on the panel of the NIHR Global Health Research Fellowship selection committee (2019-), the Newton Prize committee (2018-) and the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship selection committee (2019-). I am a member of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Network Committee (2017-).

Current major projects include:

periCOVID (UK, Uganda and Malawi; EDCTP funding, investigating the seroepidemiology of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy and vertical transmission,

PREPARE (7 countries, including the UK and Uganda; EDCTP funding, investigating the seroepidemiology of Group B Strepotococcus (GBS)  in pregnancy and up to 90 days of life to inform serocorrelates of infection for vaccine trials. the study involves establishing a clinical vaccine site for maternal vaccines of pertussis and GBS pregnant women in Uganda.

GASTON, (18 partners from 6 countries; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funding, a multinational, multisector collaboration of public health, industrial and academic partners to develop standardised assays for the assessment of antibodies against GBS to facilitate vaccine licensure.

iGBS, ( NIHR and MRC funding, a UK nationwide study of seroprevalence of GBS in pregnant women and their infants. We aim to biobank 320,000 cord blood samples and prospecitvely follow women delivering in the UK to understand protection passed from women to their babies.


in the UK

Public Health England

Imperial College London

Liverpool University


Makarere University, School of Health Sciences, Uganda


University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Center for Diseases Control, USA

Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust, Malawi

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