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Neil Almond


Neil Almond is Head of Diagnostics at the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) at laboratories formerly known as NIBSC.  He directs a research team that develops laboratory animal model systems to establish the scientific basis of vaccine protection against high containment infectious disease.  This workplays a critical role in  informing funders, developers and regulators in decision making regarding vaccine development and also guides the development of physical measurement standards including WHO established International Standards that assure the quality of biological medicines worldwide.

Neil’s research is focused on WHO priorities of emerging diseases, especially Zika, Chikungunya, Lassa Fever and Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever viruses as well as Plague and Q Fever to establish serological correlates of immune protection.  He is also recognised as a leader in the vaccine field applying the SIV models to inform vaccine selection and development. Importantly, his responsibilities also include the development of reference materials that assure the quality of serological and molecular diagnostic assays that are used in the diagnosis and treatment of infection and inform vaccine use.

 Neil chairs the organising committee of the meeting Standardisation of Genome Amplification Techniques and Serology (SoGATS) that meets biannually to advise the WHO Expert Committee on the development of physical reference standards that underpin measurement in infectious disease.  He is a member of the UK National Blood Service Joint Professional Advisory Committee that provides strategic direction to the provision of safe blood in the UK.  Neil also sits on the Nucleic Acid Working Group of the Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance: Metrology in Chemistry and Biology (CCQM) as well as the Bureau International de Poids et Mesures (BIPM)-International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Joint Committee for the Traceabilty of Laboratory Medicines Review Team for Nucleic Acids.

Neil has been a member of Grant review Board for the UK Research and Innovation Proactive Vaccinology and the review panel of the UK’s National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Programme for vaccination.  He has previously been an invited review panel member for NIH programmes funding simian models of HIV/AIDS.

At NIBSC Neil was appointed the youngest Head of a Scientific Division, when he took responsibility for the Division of Retrovirology in 1998.  He was a member of NIBSC’s Senior Management Team for 22 years, during which time he chaired the Finance, Human Resources and Facilities sub-committee.  He has chaired the Research Programme Board for the past 10 years and led on and managed successful applications for programme grant funding from UK Department of Health and Social Care for the Regulatory Science Research Unit at the South Mimms Laboratories addressing regulatory scientific research needs across all aspects of Biological Medicines (vaccines, bio-therapeutics, gene and cell therapeutics and diagnostics)   

ISV Fellow of the Month
United States