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June 2022

Winter has arrived in Melbourne, but at least the snow should be good for our lab ski retreat in August! Jen, Adam, Marios, Hyon-Xhi and Emily escaped to a Keystone meeting in Colorado for some high-altitude summer and presented their viral immunity work.

Lots of nice papers and pre-prints coming out – see Publication page. We’re proud of the team effort involved in our kinetic analysis of breakthrough COVID that came out in Immunity recently. Really dedicated group of participants put up with regular blood samples while they were miserable with COVID. For Delta infections, as the neutralising Ab response kicks in, their virus goes down – this fits with our collaborative work on neutralising antibodies as the correlate of protection with the Davenport group. Omicron is so escaped though that the picture for the Omicron breakthroughs is more complicated – Wen Shi and Robyn are plowing through Omicron neutralising assays now and seeing an interesting rise in Omicron-specific neuts now.

Our amazing EMCRs are busy writing MRFF grants at the moment – possibly the EMCR MRFF scheme will be ridiculously over-subscribed and chances of success a lottery. But, like cod-liver oil, perhaps it will be good experience!

Very excited about our impending move across the road to the medical building soon. Thakshila, Robyn, Jen, Adam and the whole team are doing a fantastic job, together with Paula from the DMI and Effie and Milly from the Medical building, in coordinating everything. Sad to leave the PDI but soooo much more space for us to grow and everyone to reach their potential. We plan to move back to the new AIID building next to the Doherty Institute when that is built in a few short years.

We’re having our annual “Gratefulness morning tea” this week where we get to graciously thank people for all their help in keeping our group stay productive and be a generally nice place to work. Attached photo of one of our certificates and a few photos of the event. The event is a combination of poignant moments and eye-rolling-ness all at the same time - we’ve had people cry with gratitude of being thanked in the past!


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