Prof Vernon Ward

Professor of Virology, Department of Microbiology & immunology, Otago School of Medical Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Tel: +64 (0)3 4799028
Email: vernon.ward@otago.ac.nz
Web: www.micro.otago.ac.nz/our-people/teaching-research-and-support/vernon-ward/

Viruses are well known for their ability to cause disease, but the diversity of virus structure and replication offers many opportunities to exploit virus particles, their structure and their replication for beneficial purposes. My calicivirus research involves the study of noroviruses to increase our understanding of the role(s) of viral proteins and the host-virus interaction as well as the development of virus-like particles from Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus for the presentation of peptides and proteins to mammalian immune systems through structure based design and engineering of the viral particle for the development of cell-mediated immunity. I retain an ongoing interest in invertebrate virology, in particular baculoviruses and their use and iridoviruses.

A/Prof Merilyn Hibma

Dunedin School of Medicine/Pathology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Email: merilyn.hibma@otago.ac.nz
Tel: +64 3 479 7726
Web: www.otago.ac.nz/dsm-pathology/people/profile/index.html?id=1689

Viral Immune regulation and its contribution to skin pathogenesis.  Merilyn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Dunedin School of Medicine. She worked for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in University of Cambridge with Lionel Crawford (FRS), before being awarded an HRC Repatriation Fellowship and returning to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Otago. In 2014 she was appointed to the Department of Pathology.  Her research interests include viral regulation of cell function and immunity in the skin, with a particular emphasis on human papillomavirus (HPV) and cancer. HPV causes persistent infections of cutaneous and mucosal skin and is the causal agent of cervical cancer. Although an effective prophylactic vaccine has been developed for the major cancer-causing HPV types, there is a continuing need for better therapeutics for HPV to address the health needs of individuals who are already infected with this high-prevalence virus. Understanding viral regulation of immunity by HPV and developing better immunotherapeutics to treat HPV are the focus of her research.

Prof Miguel Quiñones-Mateu

Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Email: miguel.quinones-mateu@otago.ac.nz
Tel: +64 3 479 7703
Web:https://micro.otago.ac.nz/our-people/teaching-research-and-support/miguel-e-quinones-mateu/

My research group works on RNA viruses (mainly HIV and influenza viruses), focusing on viral evolution and pathogenesis, including the development of novel antiviral strategies. More recently we started working on the characterization of emergent viruses as well as virome studies in Africa, New Zealand, and the Pacific nations.