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Prof Jenny Low
Senior Consultant, Department of Infectious Diseases
Singapore General Hospital

Dr Jenny Low is a board-certified senior consultant with the Department of Infectious Diseases in the Singapore General Hospital and a Professor in the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School. Concurrently, she is the Deputy Medical and Scientific Director of the SingHealth Investigation Medicine Unit. Her research interest is to develop pathways for rapid bench-to-bedside translation of vaccines and therapeutics against acute viral diseases. Her approach is to combine novel trial design with state-of-the-art molecular investigations to generate deep data that enrich first-in-human and early phase clinical trials. Towards this goal, she co-founded and co-directs the Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre, SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (ViREMiCS) to develop relevant molecular assays into ISO-accredited tests to support the translation of new vaccines and therapeutics into licensed products. This approach has been used to evaluate both small molecules as well as therapeutic antibodies against flaviviral diseases, such as dengue, Zika and yellow fever. More recently, she has expanded on this experimental medicine approach to rapidly develop a deeper understanding Covid-19 and the host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, the knowledge of which was used to evaluate investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored therapeutic strategies and vaccine candidates against Covid-19. These efforts, apart from contributing to knowledge, have also increased Singapore’s profile as a preferred site for early phase, proof-of-concept clinical trials for acute viral diseases. She has authored and co-authored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has more than 5000 citations with H-index of 35 and i10-index of 59. She has been awarded the Singapore National Medical Research Council Clinician-Scientist Award in 2016 and 2019. For her contribution, she has also received a series of research awards from SingHealth/Duke-NUS since 2014.


Contagion & Containment, 7 October 2022, 1000 - 1130hrs
Can baseline Predict Side Effects from Vaccination?

Mild systemic side effects following vaccinations are common occurrences. As the innate immune response is key to induce adaptive immunity, it has been widely assumed that vaccine-associated side effects are correlated with immunogenicity. However, our studies with the live attenuated yellow fever vaccine suggest that this assumption is not applicable for all vaccines. Furthermore, with the widespread roll out of the new mRNA vaccine platform to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, fatigue, a debilitating systemic side effect post mRNA vaccination has emerged as a common adverse event, threatening further vaccine uptake. In 2021, 200 healthcare workers who were amongst the first to receive the Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in SingHealth were prospectively enrolled in a longitudinal cohort study. We studied their host response pre- and post- 1st and 2nd vaccination. We discover that those with increased expression of genes involved in the T and NK cell activation pathways were at greater risk of post-vaccination fatigue, both after the 1st and 2nd dose and suggest  alternatives to reduce such adverse events for improved vaccine compliance, without compromising immunogenicity.

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