Zoe is an undergraduate student from the University of Birmingham who is completing a placement year within the institute as part of her MSci. For the upcoming year she will be a member of the African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) group where she will be carrying out her own project with the aim to identify variations in immunogenic proteins. At university Zoe realised she had a passion for the modules involving immunology and genetics which led her to apply for an immunology-based placement.
ASFV is a lethal DNA virus that causes a haemorrhagic fever in pigs with up to 100% mortality. For ASFV there is currently no licenced vaccine although several live attenuated and sub-unit vaccines have been tested. Zoe’s group aims to identify a pool of antigens to enable the design of a sub-unit vaccine – as it’s the recognition of nonself-antigens that initiate an immune response.