"Attempts to prepare conjugate vaccines based on native capsular polysaccharide structures against Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungi increasingly recognized as a major health issue, has been ineffective due to the heterogeneity of the native material. In this project well defined synthetic oligosaccharide structures will be used instead. A library of structures corresponding to native structures will be synthesized and utilized in the production of glycomicroarrays. These will be employed to screen monoclonal antibodies raised against the native polysaccharide to determine their specificity and to identify protective carbohydrate epitopes. Recognized hits will be conjugated to carrier proteins using various spacers and conjugation techniques to produce a selection of vaccine candidates which efficiency will be evaluated in immunizing experiments in mice by collaborators. The training will be multidisciplinary covering complex oligosaccharide synthesis, conjugation techniques, microarray construction, protein and antibody purification and labelling, macromolecular characterisation and biological screening methods. The project is an international collaboration between chemists, immunologists and vaccine industry."
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