The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Dissecting humoral immune responses to human coronaviruses

Kent group

Human coronaviruses (hCoVs) circulate seasonally in humans and cause upper respiratory tract disease. Prior immunity to hCoVs likely has an impact on SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19). However, the immune response to hCoVs remains poorly characterised. In particular the longevity and durability of B cell and antibody responses is contested. This project aims to establish tools and models in order to understand the generation, establishment and longevity of humoral immunity to seasonal hCoVs. This will involve molecular biology, cellular immunology and serology techniques and their application to relevant animal models and samples from human tissues.

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Project Supervisor

Professor Stephen Kent

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Wen Shi Lee

Project availability

Kent group

7 vacancies

Cross Cutting Disciplines

Research Projects 2019 | 25 The Kent group has an interest in understanding how the immune response can be harnessed in the control of infectious pathogens including HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and influenza. This includes understanding non-conventional T cells and how they are impacted by HIV infection despite the fact that they are not target cells for HIV replication. We use animal models to investigate ways to manipulate these cells and to understand how they are regulated during viral infection. We also examine how antibodies can instruct the innate immune system to attack invading pathogens through their Fc regions. Our research aims to understand the mechanisms behind these antibodies in order to guide the development of more effective antibody therapeutics and vaccines.