Video: Dr. Alyson Kelvin's COVID-19 research at VIDO

Dec 18, 2020

Video transcript: 

Hi my name Alyson Kelvin and I am an assistant professor at Dalhousie University, I am also a scientist at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, and I am here at VIDO-InterVac where I have been seconded to work on COVID-19 and COVID-19 solutions.

I immediately was interested in the SARS-CoV-2 virus when it was first announced at the end of December in 2019. I received an email saying that there was an outbreak of atypical pneumonia in Wuhan China. At the time, the virus was unknown, but it was most likely thought to be either a coronavirus or an influenza virus. And the first days in January I immediately contacted VIDO-InterVac because I was interested in getting studies up and running to understand the pathogenesis of this virus – so why is this virus making people sick and hospitalized and possibly leading to death, and can we develop a vaccine for this virus. Those were my initial concerns and research interests, and I knew VIDO-InterVac was the perfect place to perform these studies because of their expertise in high containment level research.

My research interests in SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 are twofold – the first, I am very interested in understanding why this virus makes people sick, and why does it lead to hospitalization and death in certain people. By studying this right now, I am trying to understand why older individuals are more susceptible to hospitalization and death and understand what are their kind of biomolecular signatures and then can we identify a target for their therapy when they’ve actually been infected. The other part is designing and evaluating the best vaccines for all types of people. So, I’m hoping that I can contribute in both of these regards and add to the knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 solutions.

I am really grateful that VIDO-InterVac has given us a home to do our research right now and that has not only given me a place to work on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, but it’s given a training opportunity to the future generation of scientists including my graduate student Magie Francis.