Dr Carolien van de Sandt completed her PhD in 2016 at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Netherlands) where she investigated the longevity, cross-reactivity and immune evasion strategies of influenza-specific CD8+ T-cells, followed by two years of postdoctoral research. In 2018, she joined the Kedzierska Laboratory as a MSCA Research Fellow to study the mechanisms that underly gain-and-loss-of CD8+ T-cell function across the human lifespan. In 2020, she temporally relocated to Sanquin Research (Netherlands) to study SARS-CoV-2 immunity in autoimmune patients, where she still holds an honorary position. In 2022 she was awarded the ARC-DECRA fellowship to continue her Aging Immunity and T-Cell Development research at the Doherty Institute (University of Melbourne).
Carolien is recognised for her research defining virus-specific immunity which led to exceptional knowledge on universal immunity during seasonal and pandemic virus outbreaks (Influenza and SARS-CoV-2) across the human lifespan including high-risk groups. Her research program is supported by the European Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Fellowship, the ARC-DECRA Fellowship, the University of Melbourne’s McKenzie Fellowship and Establishment Grant and the Doherty Institute Collaborative Seed Grant. The overall significance of her work is evidenced by more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, including Nature Medicine, Immunity, Nature Immunology and Nature Communications. Her outstanding achievements in the field of virus immunology were recognised by 19 Awards including the international ESWI Claude Hannoun Prize for Best Body of Work (2023), the MDPI-Viruses 2022 Early Career Investigator Award (2022) and national by the AIPS-Victorian 2023 Young Tall Poppy Science Award and the ASI - Gordon Ada Career Advancement Award (2023).
Professor Katherine Kedzierska’s team researches immunity to viral infections, especially the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. Her work spans basic research from mouse experiments to human immunity through to clinical settings, with particular focus on understanding universal CD8+ T cell immunity to respiratory viruses. Her studies aim to identify key correlates of severe and fatal respiratory disease in high-risk groups including children, the elderly, Australian First Nations people, pregnant women and patients with co-morbidities.