International Society for Vaccines presents St Cross DPhil Student with Paper of the Month Award



Henderson Zhu, fourth year DPhil student at St Cross College, has published a high impact paper describing gene-level signatures of vaccination/infection for typhoid fever in the world's largest medical library, National Library of Medicine. The paper was prized as “Paper of the Month” by the International Society for Vaccines in September 2023. Henderson collaborated with St Cross's distinguished Fellow Sir Andrew Pollard amongst others to get the paper published. 

As mentioned in the paper’s abstract, the study investigates typhoid fever, caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, and evaluates the Vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (ViTT) and ViPS vaccines using bioinformatic analysis of molecular signatures. Transcriptomic responses revealed distinct patterns, highlighting upregulated humoral immune signatures. The study identifies molecular correlates of protection, such as specific B cell receptor clonotypes associated with immunity against S. Typhi. These findings offer insights for future vaccine design and assessment.  

In addition to his current endeavours, Henderson played a crucial role in drafting a funding application last year. This application, reviewed by Professor Sir Andrew Pollard and submitted to the UK Government's Innovation Funding Service competition, resulted in the team securing £1.5 million. This funding aims to support the development of a vaccine against Q fever, a globally distributed bacterial infection prone to periodic outbreaks. Henderson will be soon leading this project as a postdoctoral researcher. 

Henderson studied BSc in Biochemistry at Imperial College London and MPhil in Medical Science at Cambridge Institute of Medical Research (CIMR) at the University of Cambridge. His DPhil training at the Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) involves the assessment and development of human vaccines against bacterial pathogens.   


Heartiest congratulations, Henderson!