Sean Elias


Sean completed his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford and recently finished his DPhil in Clinical Medicine at the Jenner Institute. He is currently working at the Jenner Institute as a Post-Doctoral Immunologist working on Malaria Vaccine Clinical Trials amongst other things.

The primary aim of Sean’s DPhil project was to describe the induction and maintenance of B cell responses, including memory B cells (mBC) and antibody secreting cells (ASC), to the candidate blood-stage malaria antigens MSP1 and AMA1 following different vaccine regimens and controlled human malaria infection (CHMI). Interpretations of these data have provided important insights for understanding the similarities and difference between natural exposure, CHMI and vaccination.

He is currently looking into the importance of peripheral blood T follicular helper (Tfh) cells in the response to vaccination. The aim is to determine whether baseline populations of these cells can be used as predictors of antibody responses following vaccination with blood-stage malaria vaccines as well as which cells are induced following vaccination.

Another major area of interest is the isolation and characterisation of fully human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from vaccinated volunteers. Whilst early work has focused on the isolation of AMA1 specific mAbs, future work will also focus on production of mAbs against other candidate malaria antigens including, Pfs25 PfRH5 and PvDBP, but also mAbs to other diseases such as Ebola. Once isolated antigen specific mAbs can be used for characterisation of antigen binding sites or developed as future therapeutics.

Sean has previously been involved in various outreach programs with both the ‘British Society of Gene and Cell Therapy’ (BSGCT) in the form of open days, as well as the non-profit enterprise ‘OxFizz’ in the form of their Oxbridge Interviews and Oxford and Cambridge Summer Schools.