Queensland scientists helping to crack viral code
THE greatest scientific minds in the country are working together and inching towards creating a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus.
The team at University of Queensland, which has been given the mission of creating a jab in under six months, yesterday praised the Doherty Institute in Melbourne for the fast development of a lab-grown version of the disease from an infected patient.
"The work that the Doherty Institute has done is highly significant," UQ said in a statement.
"It will allow the University of Queensland and others around the world to test whether the immune response we get from potential vaccines can stop the growth of the virus."
The Melbourne scientists are the first outside China to create the virus, which will help UQ researchers understand how it behaves.
It will also help scientists develop a test that will identify who is infected early - before symptoms appear.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which co-ordinates development of vaccines, sent the SOS to the Queensland scientists, who have developed a rapid response vaccine technology for this kind of critical response.
Professor Paul Young, Dr Keith Chappell and Dr Dan Watterson are the developers of the vaccine technology and the team has high hopes of successfully targeting the pathogen.
UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences head Professor Paul Young said: "The vaccine would be distributed to first responders, helping to contain the virus from spreading around the world."