The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Mapping post-vaccination antibody subclass responses to SARS-CoV-2 variants

Chung group

Vaccination-induced IgG antibodies are protective against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Recent studies have highlighted that repeated boosting with mRNA vaccines results in the rise of IgG4 antibodies – the anti-inflammatory IgG subclass that promote neutralisation but dampens functional responses. This project aims to identify the spike epitopes, across SARS-CoV-2 variants, targeted by vaccination-induced IgG4 antibodies, through bead-based multiplex arrays and bio-layer interferometry (BLI). This is done through epitope binning, in which competitive blocking is performed using a set of well-characterised recombinant antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike. We will also determine if the rise in IgG4 antibodies in vaccinees ultimately impacts functional responses aimed at these spike epitopes.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Kevin Selva

Project Co-supervisor

A/Prof Amy Chung

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Chung group

2 vacancies

Viral Infectious Diseases
Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

Antibodies are a vital component of the immune response required for protection and control of infectious diseases including COVID-19, HIV, Tuberculosis and malaria. Beyond the traditional mechanism of neutralisation of pathogens (inhibition of the pathogen from infecting a cell), antibodies can act as key beacons - instructing the innate immune system on how to attack and eliminate pathogens. The Chung group aims to apply cutting-edge high throughput experimental technologies, matched with computational analysis, to examine how these functional antibodies work, which will provide important insights to improve antibody-based vaccines and therapies. 

Chung group Current Projects