Kirby Institute Seminar Series presents
Professor, Biosecurity Program, Kirby Institute
About your speaker
Dr Raina MacIntyre is Professor of Global Biosecurity at the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, and leads a research program on biosecurity, bioterrorism, vaccinology, personal protective equipment and emerging infectious diseases.
The risk of re-emergence of smallpox has long being thought to be possible, but low. Stored in two known high security facilities in the US and Russia, these stockpiles are guarded closely. Advances in synthetic biology resulted in creation of an extinct pox virus in a lab in 2017, making it clear that smallpox could be synthesised more readily than previously thought. The talk will cover the history of smallpox, developments in vaccines and synthetic biology, and the impact of a smallpox epidemic. A model of smallpox transmission for New York, USA, and Sydney, Australia will be presented, which accounts for age-specific population immunosuppression and residual vaccine immunity. The research compares the influence of residual vaccine immunity and immunosuppression on death and infection rates.