The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Elimination of Influenza B: Understanding broadly cross-reactive antibody and B cell responses to influenza B viruses

Kent group

Influenza A and B viruses circulate annually during seasonal epidemics. Although influenza B viruses have a significant clinical and socio-economic impact, they have been overlooked compared to influenza A viruses. Because influenza B viruses don’t have an established animal reservoir, it may be possible to eradicate these viruses with highly efficient universal vaccines that induce broadly cross-protective antibodies. To design such universal vaccines, a deeper understanding of the underlying B cell and antibody responses is required. This project with utilise a combination of molecular virology, cellular immunology and serology techniques to understand the breadth of humoral immune responses and to influenza B viruses to dissect immune responses in relevant animal models and human samples.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Stephen Kent

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Marios Koutsakos

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

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.