Suitable for Honours or PhD Students.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has sparked an unprecedented global quest for vaccines and treatments. Key to such efforts are animal models of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease. We have recently refurbished a state-of-the-art PC3 facility at QIMR Berghofer MRI for SARS-CoV-2 research and have established a number of mouse models of infection and acute disease. Long-COVID is now well recognised, with a range of sequelae described that are primarily associated with pulmonary, neuropathic, and cardiac symptoms. While long-COVID is well-recognised, immune mechanisms are less understood, and there remains a lack of targeted therapies.
The project will involve establishing and characterising several different mouse models of long-COVID, and exploiting them to determine viral and immune mechanisms of disease. Once mouse models of long-COVID are established and characterised, the project will involve collaborations with academics and possibly industry partners to evaluate a range of potential interventions. Risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, and iron deficiency, will also be investigated.
The project will involve animal handling, virological assays, histology and RNA-Seq and will be supported by a team of virologists and bioinformaticians. QIMR Berghofer requires and arranges that all staff working in the physical containment 3 (PC3) facility on SARS-CoV-2 are vaccinated.