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The Lymph nodE single-cell Genomics AnCestrY (LEGACY) Network will create an ethnically diverse single-cell atlas of the response to commonly used vaccines such as flu vaccines with a focus on responses in lymph nodes.

© Shutterstock/Numstocker

The University of Oxford is to benefit from $2 million (£1.49 million) in funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to investigate how our ancestry and diversity influence the way that vaccines work in our cells.

In partnership with Imperial College London and the Uganda Virus Research Institute, the Lymph nodE single-cell Genomics AnCestrY (LEGACY) Network aims to understand and ultimately to predict how humans respond to vaccination at a single-cell level, whilst simultaneously creating universally available on-line materials as resources for further research.

Prof Hashem Koohy, a Co-PI of the project and an Associate Professor of systems immunology at the MRC Human Immunology Unit said: ‘The LEGACY Network project is a very exciting multi institutional and multidisciplinary effort that aims to provide deeper insights into vaccine-induced differential immune response at single cell level in an ethnically diverse population.

‘The existing single cell data that build our prior knowledge of human diseases are mainly biased by European ancestry. The LEGACY Network provides an opportunity to study differential immune response to vaccines in the light of diversity and ancestry.’

Such projects have the potential to significantly advance understandings of how vaccines stimulate immunity across ethnicities and provide new insights for future efforts in vaccine design.

The resources created by the LEGACY Network will serve as a foundation for overcoming differences in vaccine efficacy associated with ancestry, and for accelerating and promoting equity in vaccine research.

Read the full news item on the University of Oxford’s website.