MRF Conference 2023 - Provisional Programme Now Available

7-8th November 2023 at the British Museum, London

The Meningitis Research Foundation conference will be held on the 7th-8th November 2023 at the British Museum, in London. Our fourteenth international conference brings together world leading experts to share the latest advances and discuss today’s challenges for meningitis and septicaemia.

Around 300 delegates from a range of specialties and international institutions will join us at the British Museum for two days of presentations from renowned leaders in their field, lively discussions and poster presentations that showcase talent, in-depth knowledge and cutting-edge research.

This key event for world leading authorities in infectious disease, paediatrics, vaccinology, public health and tropical medicine also offers excellent opportunities to network and share opinions.

Booking is now open for the MRF Conference 2023; to reserve your place, please click the 'Book Now' button to be taken to the registration platform. Poster abstract submissions are also now open, with an application deadline of Friday 8th September. Please see below for more information. 


Day 1 – Tuesday 7 November

8:00 – 9.00 Registration and coffee

9.00 Welcome, Vinny Smith, Chief Executive Meningitis Research Foundation and Confederation of Meningitis Organisations

Lifetime impact of meningitis: access to support and after care – Chair: Dr Suzanne Anderson, UCL MRC Clinical Trials Unit

9.15-9.40 Patient experience of meningitis and septicaemia in high and low to middle income regions, Dr Ella Bailey, UK member of MRF and TBC

9.40-10.05 Improving diagnosis, treatment and care for people affected by meningitis in LMICs - Dr Nicoline Schiess, World Health Organization (WHO)

10.05-10.30 Understanding the long-term impacts of bacterial meningitis on babies, children and adults - Dr Merijn Bijlsma, Amsterdam UMC


Current picture of meningitis– Chair: Professor Caroline Trotter, University of Cambridge

10.55-11.15 UK epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease and pneumococcal meningitis - Dr Mary Ramsay UK-Health Security Agency (UK-HSA)

11.15-11.35 H.influenzae meningitis in the Hib conjugate vaccine era: a global success story and emerging challenges - Professor Mary Slack, Griffith University, Queensland

11.35-11.55 Estimating the global burden of meningitis in all ages– Dr Mohsen Naghavi, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)

11.55-12.15 Uncovering the hidden burden of meningitis mortality in the under 5's in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia - Dr Quique Bassat, Barcelona Institute for Global Health and Manhiça Health Research Centre, Mozambique

12.15-12.35 Q&A and discussion after all speakers have presented


13.30-14.30 Panel discussion on AMR and bacterial meningitis: global perspectives of current issues – Chair and moderator: Professor Mike Sharland, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

To what extent is AMR threatening the control and management of bacterial meningitis? What is the current and future role of whole genome sequencing in identifying and monitoring AMR and emerging threats?

  • 13.30-13.40 Overview of priority pathogens and the role of vaccines in preventing AMR - Dr Mateusz Hasso-Agopsowicz, WHO
  • 13.40-13.50 Meningococcal resistant strains - Dr Muhamed Kheir Taha, Institut Pasteur Paris
  • 13.50-14.00 Pneumococcal resistant strains - Professor Angela Brueggemann, University of Oxford
  • 14.00- 14.10 AMR and neonatal meningitis - Professor Nicholas Thomson, Wellcome Sanger Institute
  • 14.10-14.30 Q&A and discussion after all speakers have presented

Recognition, diagnosis and treatment – Chair: Dr Fiona McGill, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

  • 14.30- 14.55 Translating research into policy for improved diagnosis and management of Cryptococcal meningitis - Dr Angela Loyse, St George’s University of London
  • 14.55-15.20 UK guidelines for meningitis and sepsis: what updates have been made, and what is the likely impact? Professor Robert Heyderman, University College London (UCL) and Professor Paul Heath, SGUL 

Diagnosis and surveillance – Chair: Professor Dominique Caugant, Norwegian Institute of Public Health

  • 15.50-16.00 Diagnosing meningitis: available methods - Dr Kanny Diallo, Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques (CSRS), Côte d'Ivoire
  • 16.00-16.25 Development of rapid diagnostic tests – Dr Katya Fernandez, WHO
  • 16.25-16.50 Blood testing to enhance the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis in Sub-Saharan Africa: BLoTIMA study findings and potential future applications of Dried Blood Spots - Dr Brenda Kwambana-Adams, Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust
  • 16.50-17.00 Role of the International Pathogen Surveillance Network in supporting meningitis preparedness, TBC
17.00-17.50 Industry satellite symposium

17.50-19.00 Evening drinks reception for all delegates and participants

Day 2 – Wednesday 8 November

8-8.20 Registration

8.20-9.10 Industry satellite symposium

WHO Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 – Chair: Professor Sir Brian Greenwood, LSHTM

9.10-9.35 Towards a world free of meningitis: progress of the WHO Global Roadmap to defeat meningitis by 2030– Antoine Durupt, WHO

Panel discussion - why the road map matters for research: Antoine Durupt, WHO; Professor Caroline Trotter, University of Cambridge; Dr Matt Coldiron, MRF

Prevention and epidemic control (1) – Chair: Professor James Stuart, University of Bristol

10.00-10.25 Invasive meningococcal disease in countries of the African meningitis belt: recent outbreaks, overview of MenAfriVac introduction and WHO SAGE recommendations for the introduction of MenACWYX - Dr Andre Bita, WHO

10.25-10.50 Global overview of infant and adolescent MenB programmes; current schedules and potential future use of MenABCWY vaccines - Professor Marco Safadi, Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medicine, Brazil


Prevention and epidemic control (2) – Chair: Professor Saul Faust, University of Southampton 

11.20-11.45 Post-pandemic gonorrhoea: does this change the perspective for meningitis prevention? - Professor Calman MacLennan, University of Oxford

11.45-12.10 New approaches to developing MenB vaccines – Professor Christoph Tang, University of Oxford

Prevention and epidemic control (3) – Chair: Professor Paul Heath, SGUL

12.10-12.35 The future of GBS prevention: current status of vaccines and serocorrelates of protection - Dr Konstantinos Karampatsas, St George’s University of London

 Preventing viral meningitis: what vaccines are in development? - Dr Seilesh Kadambari, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London


Poster presentations from the top 5 poster abstracts and award for the best poster - Chair: Professor Robert Heyderman, UCL

14.00-14.06 Poster presentation - TBC

14.07-14.13 Poster presentation - TBC

14.14-14.20 Poster presentation - TBC

14.21-14.27 Poster presentation - TBC

14.28-14.34 Poster presentation- TBC

14.35 Award for best poster


Prevention and epidemic control (4) – Chair: Dr Brenda Kwambana-Adams, Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust 

15.10-15.35 Pneumococcal vaccination in the UK: Current and future perspectives - Professor David Goldblatt, UCL 

15.35- 16.50 Panel discussion on: What are the opportunities for increasing access to pneumococcal vaccines?

  • 15.35-15.45 Overcoming barriers to PCV introduction in Middle income and GAVI transitioning countries - Professor Fiona Russell, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and The University of Melbourne   
  • 15.45-15.55 PCV roll out in the African region: barriers and opportunities - Professor Martin Antonio, MRC Unit The Gambia
  • 15.55-16.05 Use of reduced dose PCV schedules to prevent pneumococcal infection - Professor Stefan Flasche, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 
  • 16.05-16.25 Is fractional dosing an effective and affordable approach to protecting wider populations against IPD?
    • Results of cluster RCT of mass campaigns of fractional dose PCV in children aged 1-9 in Niger - Dr Matt Coldiron, MSF
    • Results of individual RCT of fractional dose PCV in infants in Kenya- Dr Katherine Gallagher, LSHTM and The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme
  • 16.25-16.50 Discussion and Q&A after all panellists have presented

16.50-17.00 Close

We are now inviting submission of poster abstracts to be considered for display at our Meningitis Research Foundation Conference 2023.    
The Steering Committee will consider abstracts on any form of meningitis, sepsis, or associated infections, from a scientific or healthcare perspective. Abstracts covering themes such as prevention, diagnosis, recognition and treatment, health systems research, sequelae and their management, pathogenesis, pathophysiology, epidemiology, health economics, disease burden, immunology, or microbiology will be considered.
Abstracts need to be submitted to one of the following categories:
1. Prevention and epidemic control
2. Diagnosis and treatment
3. Disease surveillance
4. Support and care for people affected by meningitis  
5. Advocacy and engagement
If you are unsure which category your poster best fits under, please contact the Conference Team ( to discuss this further.

Please submit your poster abstract on the above form and e-mail it to by Friday 8th September 2023. The abstracts should be written in English and the presenting author is required to ensure that all co-authors are aware of the content of the abstract before submission.
Abstracts accepted will be given space for display at the British Museum and published on the conference app. After the conference, with author permission, posters will also be made available on our website.
In order for a printed poster to be displayed physically at the British Museum, and a digital copy made available on the app, the presenting author must be registered to attend in person. For delegates that only register for virtual conference access, posters will only be displayed virtually via the conference app.
Instructions for preparation of posters will be sent together with the acceptance notification. Authors of the top five abstracts will be invited to give a short (5 minute) oral presentation of their work at the conference.  All authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to send in a pdf/powerpoint copy of their poster before the conference for consideration by the Steering Committee, who will award a prize for the best poster (NB: the best poster prize will not necessarily be awarded to one of the poster presenters).
By completing this form you are agreeing that MRF can contact you in relation to MRF Research/Medical communications. This may include information about: 
  • Research funding calls
  • ​Our medical programme of events, including conferences, symposia and webinars
  • Other MRF research initiatives and campaigns

 You can unsubscribe from this list via the unsubscribe link in future communications or by contacting
  • Dr Merijn Bijlsma, Amsterdam University Medical Centres
  • Professor Ray Borrow, UK-Health Security Agency
  • Professor Dominique Caugant, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
  • Dr Matthew Coldiron, Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Dr Kanny Diallo, Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Professor Sir Brian Greenwood, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Professor Paul Heath, St George’s University of London
  • Professor Robert Heyderman, University College London (UCL)
  • Dr Brenda Kwambana-Adams, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Clinical Research Programme, and UCL
  • Dr Lorenzo Pezzoli, World Health Organization
  • Professor Fiona Russell, Murdoch Children's Research Institute and University of Melbourne
  • Dr Senjuti Saha, Child Health Research Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Professor Caroline Trotter, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Anne von Gottberg, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of South Africa
  • Liz Rodgers, Meningitis Research Foundation
We are delighted that, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and PATH, we have invited applications to a bursary fund to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses for delegates from low and lower middle income countries wishing to attend the MRF conference on 7-8 November 2023, at the British Museum in London.
Applications were welcomed from anyone interested in attending the conference who is a national of and resident for at least 60% of the year in a low-income or lower-middle-income country in accordance with the current World Bank classification. Applications closed on the 2nd May. 

We aim to award bursaries to successful applicants by late May to enable time for visa applications and travel arrangements.

MRF Conference 2023 has been made possible thanks to funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GSK and Sanofi, who are supporting the conference via a grant, PATH, who supported the bursary scheme, and Serum Institute of India who are conference sponsors. The conference is operated independently, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GSK, PATH, Sanofi and Serum Institute of India having no editorial control over its content.

Amelia Slay
Hi, I’m Amelia.

If you’ve got a question or want to know more, please don’t hesitate to email or call me.
Tel: 0333 405 6257