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Seminar title: Constrained naturally acquired immunity to Streptococcus pyogenes: Overcoming immune resistance through vaccination

Presented by: Dr Manisha Pandey, Associate Research Leader, Institute for Glycomics

  • Date: Friday 25 September 2020
  • Time: 11 am
  • Venue: Institute for Glycomics Lecture Theatre (G26, 4.09), Griffith University, Gold Coast campus
  • Special conditions: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, space is limited to a capacity of 50 people in the lecture theatre


The national epidemic of streptococcal pyoderma is responsible for Australia’s Indigenous populations suffering one of the highest rates of rheumatic heart disease worldwide. From an immunological perspective, the cause of the epidemic is poorly understood. There are known to be in excess of 250 different streptococcal strains based on sequence differences in the surface M-protein and it is known that antibodies to the amino-terminal segment of the M-protein can kill organisms in a strain-specific manner. Immunity to S. pyogenes takes several years to develop and it has been attributed to sequence diversity of the M-protein. However, the precise immunobiology determining the acquisition and persistence of immunity is not well understood.

We modelled streptococcal pyoderma in mice to investigate the mechanisms of naturally acquired immunity and revealed one of the main reasons responsible for the slow acquisition of immunity. We also found that in contrast to the strain-specific immunity that follows infection, immunity following vaccination with a cryptic epitope-based vaccine provides strain-transcending immunity. Moreover, we demonstrated that the vaccine mediated immunity is strengthened and broadened following successive streptococcal infections. This talk will highlight the phenomenon of ‘infection-mediated vaccine enhancement’ which may be relevant to other organism that currently challenge vaccine development.

For further information, contact: 07 5552 8051,



Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that challenges HDR candidates to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. The 3MT is held at many universities across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, culminating in an Asia-Pacific 3MT Final. The competition aims to professionally develop the presentation and research communication skills of all participants, honing their ability to effectively explain their research in a language that can be understood by a non-specialist audience.

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the entire competition was completed online. Click on the link below to view the 2020 contestants' presentations and results.

The 3MT competition will be run again in 2021, so stay tuned for more information!

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The Institute for Glycomics Grand Ball is an annual black-tie event which is supported by Griffith University as well as the local and broader community.

It's an unforgettable night of entertainment and fundraising, with every dollar raised going directly towards the Institute's research into finding new cures and preventions for devastating diseases of global impact.

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The Institute for Glycomics established its annual Glycomics Week during the Institute’s 10th anniversary in 2010. It is celebrated annually and the aims of the event-filled week are to:

  • celebrate the Institute’s growing significant research successes, and the impact this research has in the world of infectious disease, cancer, vaccine and drug discovery
  • acknowledge the invaluable assistance from the Institute’s local, national and international friends, donors and supporters
  • continue to develop new engagements with local schools, companies and the community.

Glycomics Week encompasses the following important presentations and events:

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