Dr Ali Zaid is a viral immunologist based at MHIQ who studies immune responses and inflammation caused by viral infections. He underwent postdoctoral training at the University of Melbourne's Department of Microbiology and Immunology (Peter Doherty Institute), where he established intravital imaging techniques to study the dynamics of antiviral memory T cell responses. In 2016 he was awarded an NHMRC Grant and moved to Griffith University to work on mosquito-borne viruses and help provide a better understanding of how the immune system contributes to disease and resolution. Dr. Zaid has since applied his expertise in cellular immunology, immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry to investigate diseases caused by Chikungunya virus, Ross River virus, Influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2. His main focus is on immune responses to skin infection with arboviruses, and is working to identify skin-specific immune pathways exploited by arboviruses. He has supervised PhD and MSc students at Griffith University and has established several national, international and industry collaborations on projects ranging from bacterial and parasite immunology to lung disease and vaccine development.
Viral infections have shaped mammalian immune systems for millions of years, yet represent a significant disease burden for humans. In this talk, I will outline examples that show how experimental models of viral disease can help us identify new targets, while unveiling complex - and sometimes unknown - host immune response mechanisms. Therapeutic approaches to treating viral diseases come in many forms, but some of the most successful strategies target host immune responses in order to alleviate clinical symptoms. Often, this means that poorly understood biological mechanisms need to be characterised to identify the best targets. With a focus on mosquito-borne viruses, I will showcase some of our group's recent findings, and demonstrate the usefulness of multidisciplinary approaches in projects aimed at tackling pathological conditions.
Griffith University ECR Cross-Institute Symposium
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