Several mosquito-borne viruses are now considered a global threat in light of recent outbreaks of viruses such as Zika. Much work has focused on refining diagnostic procedures and epidemiology, but little is known about what happens inside the body between a mosquito bite in the skin, to subsequent disease symptoms appearing. Dr Zaid studies how the immune system defends the body when infected by one of those viruses. He uses a 2-photon microscope to see how immune cells coordinate attacks against virus-infected cells inside a living animal. By making time-lapse movies of immune responses in infected tissues, he can see which cells work towards eliminating virus, and how they migrate in the skin to stop the virus in its tracks.
Ali has presented regularly at Australasian Society for Immunology and Australian Virology Society conferences, and obtained a CASS Foundation travel grant to present my work at the prestigious Keystone meeting in Colorado (USA). He is currently contributing science articles in The Gold Coast Bulletin and the Canberra Times. Ali has also been involved in Day of Immunology events to promote vaccination to laypersons and helped coordinate the “Vaccination Café”, which offered free Flu vaccine to passers-by.