A collaboration between Otago and ESR has received a substantial government grant to lead an international team of scientists to sequence the genomes of all of New Zealand’s positive COVID-19 cases and track how the virus spread across New Zealand. Dr Jemma Geoghegan has been allocated $600,000 from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund.
Another reason for the phantastic Lucía Malone (Fineran Lab) to be smiling. Her PhD thesis has been put on the Health Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional Theses. Lucía Malone, a PhD candidate in the Fineran Lab, recently handed in her PhD thesis titled, "Phage interactions with CRISPR-Cas systems in Serratia sp. ATCC 39006. Congratulations Lucía! We are very proud.
Associate Professor Jo Kirman co-wrote Otago's most read article in the last year. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced it will donate A$10 million to help fund an Australian trial testing whether a very old vaccine, BCG, can be used against a new threat, COVID-19. So what is the BCG vaccine and what might its place be in the fight against coronavirus?
E whakahīhī nei mātou ki a koe! Department of Microbiology and Immunology Researchers have received HRC explorer Grants. Professor Alex McLellan has received a $150,000 HRC Explorer Grant: "Fighting splicing with splicing: New strategies for CAR T cell immunotherapy". Dr Lyn Wise and Associate Professor Roslyn Kemp have received a $150,000 HRC Explorer Grant: "Resurrection of an anti-inflammatory therapy through protein engineering".
Every country in the world needs to treat #COVID19 as a national security issue, and allocate a budget for virus research and development that is similar to a defence budget"Check out this fantastic science communication piece by Dr Matloob Husain from the Department, where he emphasizes the need for preparedness around potential virus spillover from animals.