Determinants of COVID-19 risk and severity

Research Opportunity
PhD students
Department / Centre
Paediatrics
Location
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Nicole Messina Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Nigel Curtis nigel.curtis@rch.org.au

Summary This project will establish an immune signature of COVID-19 susceptibility and reveal key immunological pathways for protection against COVID-19 to be targeted in future vaccine development and COVID-19 treatments.

Project Details

Following SARS-CoV-2 exposure, outcomes range from asymptomatic-mild disease to severe disease and death. There are multiple known clinical and demographic risk factors for severe COVID-19 including age and comorbidities. However, even among high-risk individuals there is high variability in COVID-19 severity.

The BRACE trial is our international RCT of nearly 7000 healthcare workers across 34 sites in five countries. This trial is working to determine if BCG vaccination reduces the impact of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. The availability of BRACE trial samples taken prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection will give us the unique opportunity to assess associations between the pre-existing immunophenotype with disease severity in COVID-19.

Using the unique collection of samples from the BRACE trial, you will determine how pre-existing interindividual variability in the immune system contributes to the range in the severity of diseases resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this project you will have the opportunity to use a combination of analysis techniques including multi-omic analysis, single cell immunophenotyping, multiplex cytokine assays, and serological analysis.

This project will establish an immune signature of COVID-19 susceptibility and reveal key immunological pathways for protection against COVID-19 to be targeted in future vaccine development and COVID-19 treatments.

The Infectious Diseases Laboratory is located at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, part of the Melbourne Children's Campus, which also includes the Royal Children's Hospital and the University of Melbourne.



Faculty Research Themes

Child Health, Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine



Research Opportunities

PhD students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Paediatrics

Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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