Determinants of immune response following COVID-19 natural infection and vaccination in elderly residents of UK long term care home facilities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Institute of Immunology & Immunotherapy


Age and frailty are major determinants of outcome following COVID-19. Over 18 months our research team has acted as the hub for immunological analysis of immune responses in staff and residents of long-term care facilities (Care Homes) across the UK. This VIVALDI consortium has now acquired >15,000 blood samples which are housed within Professor Moss's research group at Birmingham.
We propose a PhD training opportunity to assess the determinants of immune response in older people. This is an iCASE collaboration between University of Birmingham and The Binding Site company. This is important as immune senescence and inflammatory frailty limit the efficacy of protective immunity in older people and our aim is to identify underlying mechanisms and potential therapeutic mechanisms.
The work will have five work packages.
(1) Analysis of serological and cellular responses to viral proteins
(2) Determination of how nutritional factors impact on immune responses
(3) Assessment of inflammatory profile using novel mass spectrometry
(4) Analysis of plasma cell turnover using s-BCMA assay
(5) Bioinformatic analysis of these world-leading datasets
This collaboration combines world-leading teams in academic immunology and commercial expertise in development of immune assays. The outcomes will impact on patient outcome and provide an outstanding training opportunity.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
MR/W007002/1 30/09/2022 29/09/2028
2738854 Studentship MR/W007002/1 25/09/2022 24/09/2026 Eliska Spalkova