Project: Longitudinal influenza immunity
Influenza vaccination is an important public health tool to mitigate the impact of seasonal epidemics. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended due to waning immunity and strain updates. Enhanced influenza vaccines or biannual vaccination may provide yearlong immunity, however the impact of repeated vaccination with new vaccines or regimes over time may diminish the boosting capacity of cellular responses. In this project, longitudinal cohort studies from a biobank of clinical specimens will be probed for immune correlates including T and B cells by genomic approaches to ascertain transcriptional exhaustion, and breadth of antibody responses to determine antigenic focusing. To determine protective efficacy of vaccine regimes human studies will be complimented with animal models.
The Valkenburg laboratory investigates viral immunity to emerging viruses with pandemic potential: influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2. Her work spans randomized control vaccine trials, observational studies of infected patients and animal models to decipher immune correlates to drive novel translational outcomes for specific diagnostics, targeted therapeutics and next generation vaccines for public health impact.