The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 Spike antigen leads to myocarditis

Subbarao Group

The COVID-19 pandemic catalysed the most rapid vaccine development in history, with mRNA vaccines at the forefront of those efforts. However, mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines have been associated with reports of myocarditis in young males shortly after vaccination. Using human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes from male and female donors, this project aims to establish how SARS-CoV-2 S antigen affects cardiac function and drives immune responses and whether the findings extend to human coronavirus and influenza mRNA vaccines. Understanding the molecular basis for this phenomenon is important to mitigate vaccine-associated adverse events. 

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Kanta Subbarao

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Matthew Gartner

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Subbarao Group

4 vacancies

Viral Infectious Diseases
Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Public Health
Clinical and health systems research

Research in the Subbarao laboratory focuses on respiratory viral diseases of global importance including pandemic and seasonal influenza and coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and human coronaviruses. We study virus biology and pathogenesis, airborne spread of respiratory viruses, immune responses to infection and vaccination, and antiviral drugs. We use state of the art techniques in virology, molecular biology and immunology, including reverse genetics, infection of stem cell derived tissues and studies in animal models. 

Subbarao Group Current Projects