Women in STEM and their stories: Anh Tran - video

Descriptive transcript

[Background, blue with white line followed by 2 circles appearing, one red on left, one white on the right]

[Animated text appears in first red circle, "turning challenges", then in the second white circle, each letters fading in to say "into opportunities…" while background is pulsating blue. Fade out.]

[Anh Tran sits in front of a white background, speaking to the camera.]

Anh Tran: With the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is an immediate need to find a solution through the development of vaccine and therapeutics to prevent individuals from getting infected and developing severe illnesses.

[Text on screen: Anh Tran, Assistant Research Officer]

Anh Tran: In the long term, my group seeks to advance the development of our vaccine platform to help better prepare and quickly react to potential future pandemics. There are 2 aspects to my research. The first aspect involves better understanding of how viruses cause disease and how our immune system prevents an infection.

The second aspect of our research involves the development of effective vaccines to viral infections. Now the 2 arms, 2 aspects of the research is not mutually exclusive. Our understanding of how viruses cause disease and how our immune system prevents that disease allow us to develop vaccines that are more effective and robust in preventing viral infections.

Now most virus pathogens have high mutation rates and our vaccine design approach is to targeted regions of the virus that is less likely to change or mutate, thereby reducing the risk for viruses to evade the vaccine. So the work that we're doing now, not only to develop a vaccine to address the Canadian public's immediate need to COVID-19 pandemic, but the vaccine platform that we're developing will also allow us to better prepare for potential future pandemics and also to expand the field of vaccine development in Canada. So my team is one of the essential teams that work on the COVID-19 research, and there's a lot of expectations in our research.

But at the same time, in the middle of the pandemic last year, my sister was diagnosed with cancer. And so it's a very difficult task to balance both the expectations and work as well as the concerns at home.

[Music ends]

[National Research Council of Canada]

[Canada wordmark]