AID researchers are drawn from infectious disease experts from across QIMR and UQ who apply leading technologies to identify, understand and prevent infectious disease.
Dr Keith Chappell
Dr. Keith Chappell is a molecular virologist primarily focused on subunit vaccine development. He is part of a team that has developed a broadly applicable platform technology, the molecular clamp, which facilitates expression and trimerization soluble viral fusion proteins in their native trimeric 'pre-fusion' form. This form is equivalent to that expressed on the virion surface and the principal target for a protective neutralizing antibody response. To date he and his team have applied the molecular clamp technology to 10 medically significant pathogen.
Dr. Chappell and coworkers have demonstrated the induction of a neutralising immune response for Influenza, Respiratory syncytial virus, Nipah virus and Ebola virus and demonstrated protection in animal models of Influenza and Ebola infections. Furthermore, for influenza they have demonstrated that the molecular clamp technology is able to stimulate a superior immune response that is more cross-reactive and protective against divergent strains and subtypes. On the back of the molecular clamp platform, they have brought together a consortium of researchers across several of Australia’s leading scientific research organizations with the aim of developing a streamlined process for the generation of novel subunit vaccines that could be available for emergency response against novel viral epidemics.