Project: Mapping post-vaccination antibody subclass responses to SARS-CoV-2 variants
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.
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
PhD/MPhil, Master of Biomedical Science, Honours
PhD/MPhil, Master of Biomedical Science