In episode 4 of our COVID19 Road to a vaccine series, our host, Associate Professor Nigel Crawford, will be speaking to Professor Kanta Subbarao. Professor Subbarao has been the Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza since 2016, based at The Doherty Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is a virologist and physician who specialises in paediatric infectious diseases. Her research is focused on influenza, as well as newly emerging viral diseases of global importance such as SARS and MERS, which includes immune responses to infection and vaccination. 

In this episode they discuss:

  • The specific virus characteristics of SARS-CoV-2
  • How the biosafety laboratory at VIDRL (Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory) were able to culture the SARS-CoV-2 virus and distribute their findings globally
  • The origin of coronaviruses and why this pandemic strain is different
  • The spike protein and the important role antibodies play in the development of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine
  • Immunological principles in the development of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine
  • How to determine an antibody is functional and protective 
  • The likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 changing over time 

You can listen via our podcast page or via the links below: