The National Institute for Health Research is streaming £5 million of global health funding into research looking at how infectious diseases spread and develop into epidemics in low- and middle-income countries.

It is hoped that the work will enable new vaccines to be tested in clinical trials or used more effectively in future outbreaks of infectious and potentially deadly diseases such as Ebola and the Plague, and for immunisation to help prevent them.

The new funding will support research into how epidemiological models, tools and technologies can help with clinical trials and deployment of new vaccines in outbreak situations in low- and middle-income countries.

“This research is part of a concerted effort to control outbreaks of the world’s deadliest diseases. Supporting research into promising vaccines and ways of delivering them has the potential to save thousands of lives in the future,” said Professor Chris Whitty.

“I am delighted that the NIHR, with UK aid funding, is supporting world-class global health research that will deliver benefits for patients and the public in low- and middle-income countries.”

The £5 million of new funding has been awarded to five research projects: three of which will be led by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and two by the University of Oxford.