Grace Quirk

Year entered the Ph.D. Program: Fall 2019

Research Advisor:  Dr. Michael Worobey

Research Topic: Viral evolution and how the immune history (antigenic imprinting) impacts the outcome of a reexposure to an antigenically distinct virus


Research Interests: 

I’m interested in how the immune system responds and adapts to viruses that evolve antigenically and repeatedly infect humans throughout their lifetime. I’m working on characterizing the immune response generated against SARS-CoV-2 after a heterologous re-infection and the antigenic imprint left by vaccination. 

Additionally, the 1918 influenza pandemic caused a strange pattern of significant morbidity and mortality in middle-aged individuals. I hope to use antigen specific B cell profiling and sequencing techniques to understand the degree to which antigenic imprinting is involved in these mortality patterns.