Title: Using stem cell models to study SARS-CoV-2 infection 

Speaker: Dr Jessica Neil, Doherty Institute

Abstract:  SARS-CoV-2 infection causes COVID-19, a respiratory illness which can be associated with non-respiratory symptoms such as negative birth outcomes and renal complications. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning SARS-CoV-2 infection of the placenta and kidney is unclear. Here, to shed light on this, we used stem cells to generate an in vitro early placenta infection model and complex kidney organoid infection model. We used these models to study virus replication, entry, host responses and efficacy of antivirals. This work highlights the complex interaction of SARS-CoV-2 in various tissues and helps to develop novel strategies to prevent non-respiratory sequelae of COVID-19. 

Bio: Dr Jessica Neil completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in the laboratory of A/Prof Barbara Coulson, studying the effect of rotavirus infection on the development of type 1 diabetes in a mouse model. Following this, Dr Neil went to the United States to complete her postdoctoral training at the New York University School of Medicine with Professor Ken Cadwell, where she studied the effects of murine norovirus infection on intestinal homeostasis and inflammatory bowel disease. Dr Neil returned to Australia in 2020 and to work with Professor Kanta Subbarao at the Doherty Institute, where she studies infection with SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal coronaviruses using complex in vitro models. 



About School research seminars

Seminars cover all aspects of chemistry and molecular biosciences and are delivered by visiting national and international academics. PhD completion seminars are also incorporated into the program.

Seminars are usually held in person and via zoom. All are welcome to attend.