• Start date:
  • 3 September 2018
  • Duration:
  • 5 days
  • Intended Audience:

Course Coordinators

Dr. Shahid Khan (Department of Parasitology, LUMC, Netherlands), Dr. Rebecca Ashfield (Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, UK).


The immune system provides defense against tumors and pathogens. Investigating the shared principles of immunity that underlie cancer and infectious disease, oncologists and microbiologists are actively learning from each other and using this knowledge in the critical development of vaccines. Vaccinology is a cross-disciplinary subject and the most exciting developments in vaccinology have occurred when people from diverse research, business and medical backgrounds have used their skills collectively to tackle problems in vaccine design, manufacture and distribution.

Main themes

The 5-day Summer School will focus on vaccine development for human infectious diseases and cancer. The overall aim of the course is to give participants an understanding of vaccine design, preclinical testing, GMP manufacture and clinical evaluation. Skills and knowledge will be imparted through a combination of lectures, discussion, workshops and site visits. Lectures will cover vaccines that already licensed, and those in preclinical or clinical development; the course will address both prophylactic and therapeutic vaccination. Importantly, speakers will include academics and representatives from industry, in order to give not only an overview of vaccine development but also to help prepare participants for a variety of careers, for example in post-doctoral scientists in academic vaccine development; industrial vaccine scientists; clinical trial management and regulatory affairs.

The LUMC Summer School will build on a successful vaccinology programs run by the University of Oxford, (https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/vaccinology). Prof. Adrian Hill and Dr. Rebecca Ashfield at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, who are collaborating in the design and execution of the LUMC Summer School, have run these courses successfully for 8 years with presentations from world-leading experts from academia and industry as well as national and international regulatory bodies; some of whom will also teach in the LUMC Summer School. It is the intention of the LUMC summer school to combine elements from the Oxford courses with courses on vaccines against cancer that utilize the strengths of Leiden. Specifically, in addition to experts in vaccinology within the LUMC, the course will have speakers from the Leiden Bioscience Park, in particular the vaccine company Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) with its state of the art GMP manufacturing facilities.

The Themes covered by the Summer School can be summarized as follows:

  • Introduction to vaccinology including the importance of vaccines in disease eradication and control; challenges faced in vaccinology, and new approaches to vaccine development;
  • Infectious disease vaccine design and preclinical validation;
  • Cancer vaccinology (therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines), and consideration of the challenges in developing a successful cancer immunotherapy;
  • The clinical development pathway with examples of research stage and licensed vaccines;
  • Specific examples of vaccines (illustrating key points which can be applied to other diseases);
  • The use and role of adjuvants;
  • GMP manufacture of vaccines and regulatory concerns;
  • Ethical considerations in testing vaccines in clinical trials.

Learning objectives

The objectives of the course are as follows:

  1. To develop an overall understanding of vaccine development from pre-clinical testing, through Phase I-IV clinical trials and licensure.
  2. To give participants the knowledge and skill to design and test a vaccine for a given disease, including understanding of the immune response required, need for an adjuvant, and optimal vaccine design, including target antigen(s) and choice of subunit versus whole organism.
  3. To impart knowledge and understanding of manufacture across a spectrum of different vaccines, including the requirements of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice).
  4. To give an understanding of the approaches available in developing a successful cancer vaccine, including personalized cancer vaccines.

Participant requirements

This Summer School is particularly suitable for PhD students, and for final year Master’s students as well as early stage post-doctoral scientists who have had exposure to one or more of the following; immunology, microbiology and oncology. The course is best suited for those interested in increasing their knowledge on human vaccine research, clinical development of vaccines, clinical trials as well the industrial production, testing and licensing of vaccines. While the course is directed at PhD/graduate students, scientists working in industry may also wish to apply to gain latest insights into vaccinology. Applicants will be required to provide a CV, some background to the research they are engaged in, a motivation letter and letter of recommendation from their current supervisor. The number of applicants in the course will not exceed 30.

To follow.

Leiden BioTech Training Facility

Application is free of charge. Only those selected to be a participant are evcentually required to pay the course fee.

The course welcomes applicants based in Universities, Research Institutes and in Industry, with PhD/Master’s students nearing the completion of their studies particularly encouraged to apply.

Academic rate: € 200,-

Industry rate: € 900,-

Fee covers: registration, breakfast, on-site meals, social program and network opportunities. The fee also covers the hotel accommodation for 5 days (based on 2 person sharing).  Single occupancy supplement (€ 125,-).


Application is free of charge. Applicants will be required to send a 2 page CV that includes academic record and current employment. The student should provide a short (300 words or less) summary of their current research, a letter of recommendation from their current supervisor, and a short (no more than 1 page) motivation letter, indicating why they would like to enrol in the course and what they hope to learn and gain from the Summer School. Please send these documents to erik.jansen@lumc.nl upon application (through the sign up button at the top or bottom of this page). Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

Deadline for applications: 23:59 (CET) 11th July 2018.

Successful applicants will be notified by 16th July 2018.