Marios Koutsakos has been awarded an $18,000 Victorian Fellowship which will allow him to study human immune responses to flu and COVID-19 vaccines.
Early-career researcher Koustakos is one of twelve fellows and studies microbiology and immunology at the University of Melbourne’s Doherty Institute.
“The fellowship will allow me to visit Washington University (USA) and collaborate with a team there to study human immune responses to influenza and SARS-CoV-2 vaccines,” he said.
“The team I will be working with collects samples from lymphoid tissues (like the lymph node and the bone marrow) which provides for unique opportunity to better understand how vaccines work.”
He has focussed on understanding protective immunity to influenza, especially influenza B, viruses.
He said he hopes to apply the training he receives in the US to vaccine development in Victoria.
He said he first became fascinated by immunology and viruses while studying in London.
“I was amazed by how something so small and relatively simple, when compared to humans, can take over our bodies,” he said.
“Through a series of unlikely but very fortunate events, I then found myself 16000 kilometers further away at the Kedzierska lab at the Doherty Institute, where I became fascinated by human immunology and the complexity of the immune system.”
Source: Doherty Institute