Dr Kirsty Short
Influenza Virologist (she studies the flu virus)
Kirsty's research focuses on understanding all aspects of the flu virus. This includes understanding how the virus emerges and evolves in their natural hosts (i.e. birds) but also how certain chronic medical conditions can increase the severity of the flu in humans.
Message for the Public
We all know that unhealthy eating habits can increase your risk of things like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. However, not many people appreciate that obesity can actually increase the severity of infectious diseases like the flu. In fact, what we are now understanding is that our diet can completely shape how our immune response reacts to viral and bacterial infections. So, maintaining a healthy diet and weight is a really important aspect of protecting ourselves from infections like the flu.
Hands down Hainanese chicken rice - I have been known to eat this for at least 5 nights in a row!