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Vaccine Research Laboratory

Our research focuses on on understanding the underline mechanisms for the cross-protective immunity induced by our recently developed (in collaboration with Prof. Arno Mullbacher at the Australian National University) gamma-irradiated influenza vaccine. In particular, we are investigating the ability of our gamma-flu vaccine to induce T lymphocyte responses, which has long been considered as a key requirement for cross-protective or universal flu vaccine.

The reduced effect of gamma-ray on virus structure is expected to allow gamma-irradiated viruses to act like live viruses in terms of interacting with host cells (without causing infection) to induce strong immune responses.

Our research is aimed at illustrating virus/host interaction using gamma-irradiated viruses. A large number of virus models including influenza, parainfluenza, alphaviruses, flaviviruses and adenoviruses are employed in these studies. The availability of various gene-targeted mice defective in immune effector molecules has allowed us to elucidate important host/parasite relationships in the context of the host immune response.

In addition, we are exploring the interface between innate and adaptive immune responses, particularly the role of type-I interferon in regards to sequential viral and bacterial infections.

The general aims of the group are:

  • To explore the use of gamma ray inactivated virus preparations as vaccine candidates for control of Influenza, Alphaviruses, Flaviviruses, and others.
  • To study virus/host interactions at the cellular and molecular level and through this devise strategies to enhance the efficacy of current and newly developed vaccines.
  • To generate new knowledge relevant to our understanding of the fundamental properties of immune responses at the molecular, cellular and whole system level, with particular emphasis on immune responses against viruses.

Recent media coverage on our research:

Vaccine Research Laboratory

North Terrace Campus
Level 4, Molecular Life Sciences
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005


Michael Beard
T: +61 8 8313 5522
F: +61 8 8313 4362