Project: SARS-CoV-2 immunity with time and age
The COVID-19 pandemic by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus has caused incalculable loss. The majority of infections are asymptomatic especially in children yet the underlying immune mechanism is unknown. Mild or asymptomatic infections can result in lower magnitude immune responses which may leave an individual susceptible to reinfection. The early recruitment kinetics of cellular responses is important for establishing long term immune memory. SARS-CoV-2 specific immunity will be probed in children, asymptomatic cases, longitudinal long term responses and following vaccination. Human studies will be complemented with next generation broadly reactive vaccines in animal models to address issues of variants of concern.
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.