Research projects

Current Projects

We fund research into prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia.

There are currently 13 projects in our active research programme.

Since the charity was founded in 1989, we have awarded 140 research grants. The total value of our investment in vital scientific research is over £17 million.

Click on the name of the project to find out more.


MRF Meningococcus Genome Library

Public Health England; The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute; & University of Oxford, UK

A world first – a truly ground-breaking resource - which will provide the complete genetic blueprint of every meningococcus that was isolated as a cause of meningitis in the UK 
Genome sequencing to better understand the meningococcus in Scotland

University of Hull, UK

All the meningococcus strains isolated in Scotland from 2009-2013. Nearly two hundred strains and their sequences will be made available to everyone who is interested in studying them by adding them to the existing MRF Meningococcus Genome Library.
Development of a novel vaccine against meningococcal bacteria

Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK

Developing a vaccine candidate based on a de-toxified version of molecules in the outer wall of the bacteria. We hope that this will be both safe and effective at preventing the disease
Study of the duration of protection after mass vaccination with a new vaccine against epidemic meningitis in the general population of Burkina Faso, a country of the African meningitis belt

Agence de Médecine Préventive, Burkina Faso

Iinvestigating how long protection lasts after vaccination by taking blood samples from children and adults and measuring levels of immunity.

Investigating transmission of GBS to newborn babies in Malawi

Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Programme, Malawi

Using state-of the art genetic fingerprinting techniques to investigate the relationship between GBS bacteria carried by mothers and those causing severe GBS disease in Malawi.

Assessing the potential benefits of GBS vaccines

University of Cambridge, UK

Evaluating the potential costs and benefits of introducing a GBS (Group B streptococcal) vaccine in the UK. GBS is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in newborn babies.

Prevention and treatment

An in-depth study of the genes involved with the susceptibility and the severity of meningococcal disease in children

Imperial College London, UK

Exploring the biological and functional role of genes in susceptibility and outcome of meningitis and septicaemia


Development of a molecular biology tool based algorithm to improve diagnosis in the African Meningitis Belt

Centre of Vaccine Development, Bamako, Mali

Testing for rarer meningococcal strains.


Defining meningitis in UK children in the conjugate vaccine era

University of Oxford, UK

Describing the symptoms, clinical signs and laboratory results of all children with meningitis. Investigating differences between children with bacterial and viral meningitis to determine how to differentiate these two groups.


The burden of bacterial meningitis in newborn babies in the UK and Ireland: establishing standards of care to improve the outcome

St George’s, University of London; St Mary’s Hospital, London; Public Health England London & Birmingham Women’s Hospital, UK

Measuring the impact of bacterial meningitis in newborn babies and to develop guidelines to improve management and treatment in hospital.

Improving the outcome of bacterial meningitis in newborn infants in Malawi

Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Research Laboratories, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi

Investigating whether or not ceftriaxone is safe to use in babies under 2 months.


Evaluation of corticosteroid therapy for severe septicaemia in children

University of Southampton; St Mary’s Hospital London and Bristol University, UK

Establishing the value of corticosteroid replacement therapy in childhood sepsis.


Estimating the total burden of invasive meningococcal disease in England using multiple data sources

Public Health England London, UK

Achieving an accurate estimation of the burden of meningococcal disease in England.