‘Corona Queens’ team win the Eureka Prize for pioneering COVID-19 immunity research

The team of researchers, the ‘Corona Queens’, led by Prof Katherine Kedzierska, Department of Microbiology and Immunity, has received the prestigious 2023 Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for their exceptional contributions to COVID-19 research. Their groundbreaking work in comprehending the human immune system's response to COVID-19 and vaccination has earned them this esteemed recognition.

The award-winning team from the University of Melbourne's Department of Microbiology and Immunity, including Prof Katherine Kedzierska, Dr Oanh Nguyen, and Dr Louise Rowntree, has been recognized for their exceptional work in COVID-19 research. Their expertise in human immunity and innovative research methods allowed them to create a comprehensive map of immune responses to the virus.

Since the early stages of the pandemic, they have been pioneering in their exploration of immune reactions to SARS-CoV-2, even being the first to report on immunity in an Australian COVID-19 patient in March 2020. Their influential studies, published in prestigious scientific journals, have contributed crucial insights into protective responses, impacting various demographics including children, the elderly, pregnant women, and cancer patients. Their contributions have significantly advanced global understanding of COVID-19, furthering research into infection and vaccination strategies.

In her acceptance speech, Prof Kedzierska expressed gratitude to her team, collaborators, patients, and supporters, emphasizing the urgency and importance of their immunology work during the pandemic.

“It is such an honour and privilege to be awarded the 2023 Eureka Prize for infectious Disease Research. We would like to thank all of our laboratory members, past and present, for contributing to all the discoveries over the last years which immensely advanced our human immunology studies, so we could be at the forefront of COVID-19 research, in a very supportive environment at the Doherty Institute and The University of Melbourne.”

Corona Queens Winners 2023

For a complete list of the 2023 Eureka Prize winners, please visit the Australian Museum's official page.

Originally published by the Doherty Institute.