The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Blocking the development of secondary bacterial pneumonia

Wakim group

A complication associated with influenza virus infection is the development of a secondary bacterial pneumonia. Staphylococcus aureus is a frequent perpetrator of secondary bacterial pneumonia following influenza A virus (IAV) infection. These bacteria are a commensal organism found in the nasal passage of 20 per cent of humans, and persistent nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus is a significant risk factor for secondary staphylococcal pneumonia in IAV infected patients. We are looking for highly motivated students to determine why influenza infection causes Staphylococcus aureus to transition from the upper to the lower respiratory tract resulting in the development of bacterial pneumonia.

Immune cells in the nasal airways surrounding Staphylococcus aureus.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Linda Wakim

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Wakim group

2 vacancies

Cross Cutting Disciplines

The Wakim group research focus is understanding how T cells resident along the respiratory tract can be utilised to protect against influenza virus infection. Our main focus is to characterise the influenza virus fighting T cells in the lung and nasal tissue, identify factors important in their differentiation and longevity, and optimise approaches to lodge these highly protective T cells along the respiratory tract with the intent to improve influenza vaccine design and efficacy.