After obtaining an MSc in biomedical engineering from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées of Lyon, France (INSA de Lyon) in 2018, I was awarded an NDM Prize Studentship at the University of Oxford and undertook a DPhil in Clinical Medicine. Based between the Jenner Institute and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME),my research focused on the development of delayed vaccine delivery technologies, working with Dr. Anita Milicic, Prof. Eleanor Stride and Prof. Adrian Hill.
During my PhD project, I created a microfluidics-based process to continuously produce liquid core-solid PLGA shell particles. These core-shell particles were engineered to be able to carry a vaccine booster load in their core, be co-injected alongside the prime soluble vaccine, and release their payload in vivo after a tuneable time delay, removing the need for any further booster injections. I used the R21 malaria vaccine in a mouse model to demonstrate the ability of the particles to deliver the vaccine with different delays and provide efficacy in malaria challenge experiments. As a result of my PhD work, I received the 2023 NDM Graduate Prize.
I am currently a postdoctoral researcher, leading the conception and development of vaccine delivery technologies within the Milicic group in the Jenner Institute and in collaboration with Prof. Stride in the BUBBL lab. I was awarded the 2022 Michelson Prize which will permit me to develop the encapsulation of the licenced rabies vaccine within core-shell particles for single-visit post-exposure prophylaxis.
Romain is currently developing a single dose vaccine technology using microfluidic techniques, with the aim to encapsulate booster vaccine doses that release later in the body. He is interested in:
- The encapsulation of antigens and vaccine formulations in biodegradable microparticles by microfluidic double emulsification
- The polymer formulation of the particles
- The characterisation of the mechanism and kinetics of release from these particles using various microscopy techniques (fluorescent, confocal, SEM)
- The evaluation in vitro and in a mice in vivo model by following the immune response to single dose encapsulated vaccine models compared to multiple injections
- Optimisation of microfluidic techniques for core-shell microparticles manufacturing
- Creation, development and optimisation of microparticle-based delayed vaccine delivery technologies using microfluidic techniques.
- Development of malaria single dose vaccines
- Development of rabies single dose vaccines in pre and postexposure prophylaxis
Awards and Prizes
- 2018 NDM Studentship Prize
- 2022 Michelson Prize
- 2023 NDM Graduate Prize, highly commended in overall category