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Advancing vaccine development for infectious diseases by identifying targets and mechanisms of protective immunity

Infectious diseases continue to be a major burden on global health. They contribute to global inequities, especially in low-middle income countries and to the world's most disadvantaged people. Some of these are well recognised diseases like malaria, TB, HIV, dengue, and viral hepatitis, but others are new and emerging threats. For many of these diseases, antibodies are key effector molecules responsible for mediating protection. This project will provide opportunities to study the fascinating biology of these diseases and to understand more about immune responses against them. It will use a range of novel approaches (i.e. combinations of bioinformatics, proteomics, and immunology) to identify epitopes that are targeted by protective antibodies. There will be opportunities to engineer new recombinant human antibodies and then test these in a wide range of in vitro assays and in vivo models. This will provide crucial insights into the mechanisms that mediate protection and to identify which of these are most effective. This knowledge will then be used to guide vaccine construct design, adjuvant selection and assessing vaccine delivery strategies to ensure that these responses can be induced and maintained. These projects can be tailored to specific student interests.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
antibody, immunity, infectious diseases, vaccine, adjuvant, antibody engineering
Available options 
Masters by research
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Burnet Institute
Ricardo Ataide

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