In March of 2020, Eureka TechIN initiated the Eureka Research Fund for Immunology and Virology to support research innovation activities which would address the health concerns arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ’COVID-19 Antibody Neutralization Assays To Measure Vaccine- and Naturally-acquired Antibody Responses’ project led by Prof. Heidi Drummer at the Burnet Institute was one of the projects funded in our 1st round program.
This research project aimed to identify the best performing viral pseudotyping system to establish a routine laboratory-based assay to evaluate neutralizing antibody responses to COVID-19 vaccines and in natural infection.
Prof. Heidi Drummer
After a year of hard work, Prof. Heidi Drummer’s team successfully established a pesudotyped virus assay system to measure neutralizing antibody activity against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants of concern (VOC) and variants of interest(VOI) that have emerged since the virus was first identified in early 2020. The system has been used extensively to monitor the activity of vaccinee serum and convalescent patient serum against both the parental strain of SARS-COV-2 and the relative neutralizing activity towards the VOCs and VOIs.
About Prof. Heidi Drummer
Professor Heidi Drummer is Scientific Director of the BDI and Program Director of Disease Elimination, Burnet Institute. She has extensive experience in antigen expression, antigen characterization, assay development for measuring functional antibodies, vaccine design and diagnostic technologies.
About Burnet Institute
Burnet Institute is an Australian, unaligned, not-for-profit, independent organisation that links medical research with practical action to help solve devastating health problems. Burnet brings together a highly diverse skill base, with more than 400 staff and students working across cutting-edge research and projects to address some of the most relevant global health issues.