Scientific Advisory Panel

The work of the Scientific Advisory Panel is integral to our success. It ensures that the Charity only funds research of high scientific merit, which is relevant to our research strategy, original and likely to succeed.

The Panel:

  • Assesses every research funding application (around 50 preliminary proposals and 20 full applications each year)
  • Assesses annual progress reports for existing research grants
  • Gives advice on our research strategy 

Panel members are international scientists working at the top of their respective fields, conducting world-wide research and generously giving their time and expertise for free. They bring great insight and dedication to the funding process.

We are enormously grateful for their commitment, which can only serve to further research into meningitis and septicaemia.

Professor James Stuart MA, MB, FFPH (Chair)

Honorary professor at the University of Bristol.

Professor James Stuart is an honorary professor in population health sciences at the University of Bristol and is a consultant for WHO. After qualifying in medicine, James worked for ten years as a clinical doctor in the UK and rural South Africa before specialising in public health and epidemiology of infectious diseases, particularly meningococcal meningitis.

He has been involved in the investigation and control of outbreaks internationally and has published extensively on the epidemiology of meningococcal disease and carriage.  James has worked for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on a major research project into meningococcal carriage during the introduction of a serogroup A conjugate vaccine across the meningitis belt of Africa. In more recent years he has been working for WHO, co-ordinating revision of outbreak response guidelines for the meningitis belt and helping to develop and start implementation of the WHO roadmap on “Defeating Meningitis by 2030”.

Professor Michael Levin PhD FRCPCH FMedSci (Vice-chair)

Professor of Paediatrics and International Child Health at Imperial College London

Michael Levin is Professor of Paediatrics and International Child Health at Imperial College London. He trained in medicine in South Africa and in paediatrics in the UK before specialising in infectious diseases. His research has focused on life threatening infections of childhood. He is the co-ordinator of a European Commission FP7 award studying the genetic basis of meningococcal and other life threatening bacterial infections of childhood, working with a consortium of colleagues from Europe, Africa and Singapore.

Dr Claire Cameron FFPH

Strategic Lead for Vaccine Preventable Diseases at Health Protection Scotland

Dr Claire Cameron is a Strategic Lead for Vaccine Preventable Diseases at Health Protection Scotland (HPS), with overall responsibility for areas including meningococcal, pneumococcal, and Haemophilus influenzae disease.

Her work covers national surveillance, operational support, research and development, education and training and contributing to policy formation, including representing HPS at the UK Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.

Claire co-chairs the Scottish Immunisation Programme and is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and a graduate of St Andrews and Cambridge Universities, and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Professor Shamez Ladhani PhD MRCPCH(UK) MSc (distinction) MBBS(hons) BSc (hons)

Paediatric Infectious Diseases Consultant, St. George’s Hospital, Consultant Epidemiologist, Public Health England

Shamez Ladhani is a paediatric infectious diseases consultant at St. George’s Hospital, senior lecturer at St. George’s University of London and consultant epidemiologist at Public Health England. He is the clinical lead for a number of national vaccine preventable infections, including Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis, which are all major causes of childhood bacterial meningitis.

He completed his medical training at Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospitals, London, and then worked in a children’s hospital in rural Kenya. Upon returning to London, he obtained his PhD in genetic epidemiology and vaccine failure in children and completed his specialist paediatric infectious diseases training at St. George’s and Great Ormond Street Hospitals, London.

He is currently responsible for the national evaluation of the meningococcal group B vaccine, Bexsero®, in the national infant immunisation programme and the meningococcal ACWY conjugate vaccination programme for teenagers. His main research interests include vaccine-preventable infectious diseases and he has published extensively in this fields.

Professor Robert Heyderman PhD FRCP DTM&H

Professor of Infectious Diseases, UCL

Rob Heyderman is a clinician scientist whose work bridges clinical practice and fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of infectious disease. He has recently moved to UCL after directing the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Programme (MLW) for 8 years. MLW has an internationally leading translational research portfolio that links an excellent laboratory base to strong hospital and community-based research teams. 

Led by Malawian and International Scientists, MLW is focused on conducting cutting-edge research in a robust research training environment, the development of globally competitive research leaders and the translation scientific advances into human health improvements. His research focuses on the endothelial biology & coagulopathy of severe infection; the microbial and immunological basis of severe infection by mucosal pathogens and their prevention through vaccination; regulation of host inflammation; and the diagnosis and management of meningitis and sepsis.

Professor Beate Kampmann Staats Exam MD FRCPCH DTM&H PhD

Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, Imperial College London
Director of the Vaccine Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Professor Beate Kampmann joined the LSHTM from Imperial College London in May 2018 and is the Director of The Vaccine Centre @ LSHTM. She trained as a clinician-scientist in Paediatric Infectious Diseases in Germany, UK, France, USA and South Africa. Beate holds a Chair in Paediatric Infection & Immunity and was appointed as the Scientific Director (Theme Leader) for Vaccinology research at the MRC Unit The Gambia in July 2010. She directs a comprehensive childhood infection and immunity research program both in the UK and sub-saharan Africa.

As one of the three theme leaders at the MRC Unit in The Gambia, she oversees all research activities in infant immunology, childhood tuberculosis and molecular diagnostics, which range from basic research into innate and acquired immune responses to infection and vaccination in pregnant women and infants and the conduct of clinical trials of novel vaccines, adjuvants and administration modalities. 

Over the last few years she has conducted a number of studies in both UK and West Africa  investigating the scientific and implementation challenges of maternal immunization.

She is the director of IMPRINT- the IMmunising PRegnant women and INfants network, one of the 5 MRC-funded networks for vaccines (

Dr Jay Lucidarme BSc. MSc. PhD

Senior Scientist, Meningococcal Reference Unit, Public Health England, Manchester UK

Jay Lucidarme is a Senior Scientist based at the Public Health England Meningococcal Reference Unit in Manchester. He obtained his degree in Microbiology at the University of Sheffield before going on to complete a Masters in Medical and Molecular Microbiology at the University of Manchester. 

He joined the Public Health England Vaccine Evaluation Unit in 2007 where he undertook a PhD in Genomic Epidemiology assessing the potential coverage of the meningococcal B vaccine, Bexsero, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

He has since contributed to various projects including the Meningitis Research Foundation Meningococcus Genome Library, and investigations into the vaccine candidacy of meningococcal haemoglobin receptors, the population biology of serogroup W meningococci, and the in vivo microevolution of meningococci during progression from being a harmless commensal to an invasive pathogen. 

He currently contributes to the enhanced surveillance of invasive meningococcal disease in England, Wales and Northern Ireland following the introduction of meningococcal B and meningococcal ACWY vaccines into the routine vaccine schedule.

Professor Paul Heath MB BS FRACP FRCPCH

Professor/Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St George’s, University of London and Vaccine Institute in London

Paul Heath is a Professor / Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St George’s, University of London and Vaccine Institute in London.

His training in paediatrics and infectious diseases was at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford and St George’s Hospital, London.

His particular research interests are in the epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases, in clinical vaccine trials, particularly in at-risk groups, and in perinatal infections. He coordinates a national neonatal infection surveillance network (neonIN) and recently, a national study on neonatal meningitis.

He sits on national committees concerned with meningitis, Group B streptococcus prevention, Pneumococcal and Hib infections, neonatal infections and on immunisation policies in children.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, a member of the research committee of the European Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases and a member of the steering committee of the international Brighton Collaboration on vaccine safety.

We fund research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and sepsis
Key data and meningitis estimates
A global vision for meningitis by 2030 and an action plan to get there.
£160/€190/$214 decodes the genetic information in a sample of meningococcal bacteria. This information has helped us track new forms of meningitis and campaign to introduce new vaccines to protect people.
Liz Rodgers
Research Officer

If you like to read the terms of reference for our Scientific Advisory Panel or would like any more information about our research programme, do get in touch

Tel: 0333 405 6258
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