The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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

Associate Professor Sophie Valkenburg

Associate Professor Sophie Valkenburg

03 8344 7465 |

Laboratory Head
COVID-19, Immunology, Viral Infectious Diseases, Public Health, Influenza
Public Health, Clinical and health systems research
Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI)
Lab Group(s):
Valkenburg Lab

Associate Professor Sophie Valkenburg is a laboratory head of viral vaccine immunology based at the Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne since 2022. Sophie remains an honorary Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and maintains a joint research program. She is a long-term alumnus of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, completing her PhD with Professor Katherine Kedzierska in 2012. She spent 10 years in Hong Kong, and was a post-doctoral fellow with Professor Leo Poon, and went on to become an independent laboratory head at the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole since 2016. 

Her research program is devoted to investigating correlates of protection, specifically T and B cell responses, antibody quality and function for influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2 from patients, randomised control vaccine trials and animal models. Her program aims to define broadly reactive immune correlates from recovered patients, and how current vaccines stimulate or fail to stimulate these protective immune responses, and incorporated to next generation universal vaccines for robust immunity.

  • Key Achievements
    • The quality and impact of Sophie’s PhD was well recognised by competitive awards by Qiagen, a Victorian Premiers Award commendation, and NHMRC CJ Martin fellowship to support her post-doctoral work in Hong Kong. She has been further recognised by peer awards including: Pasteur Talent award, promising investigator award by ISIRV, has held several PI project grants, and now is an Emerging Leader level 2 NHMRC fellow. She is a co-PI on a number of program grants (CDC as a co-operative agreement, GRF TRS, and NIH) for the effects of repeated influenza vaccination with Professor Benjamin Cowling and COVID-19 immunity with Professor Leo Poon.

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    Research Groups
    • Valkenburg Lab

      The Valkenburg laboratory investigates viral immunity to emerging viruses with pandemic potential: influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2. Our work spans randomised 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.

      Lab Team