Manish Sadarangani

Associate Professor

Research Classification

Research Interests

Bacterial Vaccines
Childhood infections
Immune System
Vaccine Development
Vaccine immunity
Clinical trials and observational studies

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.
I am interested in working with undergraduate students on research projects.


Dr. Sadarangani is head of the Vaccine Evaluation Center (VEC) at BC Children’s Hospital. Founded in 1988, the VEC is an academic centre of excellence focusing on vaccine and immunization research in BC and across Canada. He is also a pediatric infectious disease specialist and an investigator at BC Children’s, and assistant professor with the UBC Department of Pediatrics.

The aim of his research at the Vaccine Evaluation Center (VEC) is to lower the burden of childhood infectious disease through vaccination by building an evidence base for local, national and international vaccine policy. Hisresearch program includes laboratory studies to develop new and better vaccines, clinical trials to identify how best to utilize new and approved vaccines, and population-based investigations to identify targets for new vaccines and demonstrate vaccine impact.

Research Methodology

In vitro immune responses to vaccines
Population level evaluation of immunization programs
Animal models for immunization
Bacterial modification
clinical studies


Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round

My research encompasses the full breadth of vaccine science via a unique combination of laboratory, clinical and epidemiologic research, integrating an exciting and innovative range of work. This breadth of expertise enables me to respond quickly to changing priorities, exemplified during the COVID-19 pandemic when I tackled diverse knowledge gaps rapidly and produced high quality results to inform policy – further detailed in the COVID-19 productivity impact assessment. My research program includes three complementary focus areas in an innovative molecule-to-population approach.

Vaccine Development. Develop new highly immunogenic vaccines and a novel vaccine platform.

Our group is currently focussed on developing vaccines against the global threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Our work focuses on development of a vaccine against Klebsiella – a ‘critical’ priority pathogen according to the World Health Organization (WHO). We have designed new vaccines against Klebsiella, developing new mouse models of Klebsiella infection, and designed and tested novel vaccine antigens in these models.

Vaccine Immunity. Enhance immunity in individuals by optimizing immune responses to vaccines.

We are on the cusp of a transformative paradigm shift in vaccine research, catalyzed by the discovery from my group that a person’s immune status at time of vaccination, determines the outcome of vaccine response. I have been the PI of clinical trials, and evaluated antibody responses to infections and vaccines, including with systems biology approaches. This involved development and use of assays to measure antibody response and function after immunization in humans and mice. For example, a Haemophilus influenzae type a vaccine has been developed in Canada, and is ready for phase 1 clinical trials, where salivary antibody analysis will be done in my lab, using a salivary assay that our group developed. Of note, this vaccine is being developed in Canada because of the particularly high incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type a disease in Indigenous populations.

Vaccine Effectiveness. Improve protection in the population by clinical vaccine evaluation.

I have multicentre national and international phase 1-4 clinical trials and observational studies to evaluate vaccine effectiveness after implementation and across the age spectrum. Specific clinical trials that I have been PI/co-PI include:

Mix-and-match study of three COVID-19 vaccines; n=1200 adults, 6 sites

Responses to Tdap vaccine in HIV-infected vs. HIV-uninfected pregnant women; n=200

2 vs. 3 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in infants; n=248, 4 sites

Compare different meningococcal vaccine schedules in adolescents; n=324, 3 sites

My group’s contributions have shaped national and global policy. For example, our studies on pertussis immunization during pregnancy have addressed (i) the burden of disease in infants, (ii) optimal timing of vaccination during pregnancy, and (iii) the impact of immunization during pregnancy on later vaccine responses during infancy. Our work has also provided evidence for reducing the number of doses for different vaccines (e.g., Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, human papillomavirus), with major potential healthcare cost savings. Across all of these research areas, our group has played a central role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).
I am interested in hiring Co-op students for research placements.

Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!

Check requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
  • Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
Focus your search
  • Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
  • Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
    • Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
    • Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
Make a good impression
  • Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
    • Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
    • Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
  • Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
  • Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
  • Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
    • Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
    • Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
  • Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
Attend an information session

G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.



These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Evaluation of pertussis immunization during pregnancy (2021)

Pertussis disease is most severe among young infants, leading to high morbidity and mortality. To reduce the burden of pertussis disease among young infants, immunization against pertussis during pregnancy has been implemented in an increasing number of countries over the past decade. My research goals have focused on addressing important knowledge gaps in the field of pertussis immunization during pregnancy to inform an evidence-based immunization program. Using data on hospitalized pertussis cases admitted to pediatric tertiary care centers in Canada, I report that the highest morbidity and mortality from pertussis is among infants
View record

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Identification and evaluation of potential candidate antigens for vaccine development against Klebsiella pneumoniae (2023)

The full abstract for this thesis is available in the body of the thesis, and will be available when the embargo expires.

View record



If this is your researcher profile you can log in to the Faculty & Staff portal to update your details and provide recruitment preferences.


Read tips on applying, reference letters, statement of interest, reaching out to prospective supervisors, interviews and more in our Application Guide!