Li Jin Chan - Infectious Diseases & Immune Defence division

Li Jin Chan - Infectious Diseases & Immune Defence division

Start Time: 
Mon, 09/08/2021 - 3:00pm
End Time: 
Mon, 09/08/2021 - 4:00pm

WEHI PhD Completion Seminar hosted by Professor Wei-Hong Tham


Li Jin Chan

PhD Student - Tham Lab, Infectious Diseases & Immune Defence division


Antibody therapeutics against infectious diseases


Join via TEAMS

Including Q&A session


Monoclonal antibodies are one of the most powerful drugs used in the treatment of human diseases, in particular for autoimmune diseases and cancer. The development of therapeutic antibodies to combat infectious diseases is expanding, with successful treatments available against viral diseases such as COVID-19, Ebola and RSV. The use of monoclonal antibodies complements vaccines by providing immediate protection, preventing disease in immunocompromised people and in containing outbreaks.


Li Jin’s PhD aimed to characterise neutralizing antibodies against two of the deadliest infectious diseases that affect global populations, malaria and COVID-19. The growth and replication of both of these pathogens are critically dependent on their entry into host cells. Neutralizing antibodies that block pathogen entry into host cells can prevent infection and reduce severe disease.


Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread relapsing human malaria, which invades reticulocytes through the critical interaction between P. vivax reticulocyte binding protein 2b (PvRBP2b) and human Transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1). Li-Jin’s structural insights into the PvRBP2b-TfR1 interface enabled the understanding of how naturally acquired human antibodies against P. vivax block complex formation and will inform the rational design of next-generation vaccine immunogens. The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by SARS-CoV-2, which utilizes its spike protein to engage human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 for host cell entry. Li-Jin performed deep mutational scanning on a lead SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibody to improve its potency, stability and affinity. Her deep understanding of host-pathogen interactions and structural biology expertise have contributed to the development of antibody  therapeutics against malaria and COVID-19.


All welcome!