Cohen, Carolyn

Post-doctoral Fellow

Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences

  • BSc (Manc), PhD (HK)

Dr Carolyn A Cohen joined the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole at the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong in 2018 as a Research Assistant, before completing her PhD in 2023. She was supervised by Dr Sophie Valkenburg and supported by the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme and a Doctoral Entrance Scholarship for Medical Excellence. Her PhD in Immunology was focused on immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination in children and adults.

Her broader research interests are adaptive immunity to viral infection and vaccination with a current focus on SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. She aims to broaden understanding of serological and cellular adaptive immune responses that may contribute to protection against viral infection or severe diseases, particularly in the absence of robust neutralising antibodies. She uses plasma and cells from human clinical samples in classical immune assays to understand specificity, cross reactivity, function and memory of antibodies, B cells and T cells.

Selected Publications
  1. Leung NHL*, Cheng SMS*, Cohen CA*, Martín-Sánchez M, Au NYM, Luk LLH, Tsang LCH, et al. (*co-first). Comparative antibody and cell-mediated immune responses, reactogenicity, and efficacy of homologous and heterologous boosting with CoronaVac and BNT162b2 (Cobovax): an open-label, randomised trial. The Lancet Microbe, 2023. doi: 10.1016/S2666-5247(23)00216-1 PMID: 37549680
  2. Leung D*, Mu X*, Rosa Duque Jaime S*, Cheng SMS*, Cohen CA*, Wang X, et al. Immunogenicity against wild-type and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 after a third dose of inactivated COVID-19 vaccine in healthy adolescents. Frontiers in Immunology. 2023;14.
  3. Mu X*, Cohen CA*, Leung D*, Rosa Duque JS*, Cheng SMS*, Chung Y, et al. Antibody and T cell responses against wild-type and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 after third-dose BNT162b2 in adolescents. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy. 2022;7(1):397.
  4. Rosa Duque JS*, Wang X*, Leung D*, Cheng SMS*, Cohen CA*, Mu X, et al. Immunogenicity and reactogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines BNT162b2 and CoronaVac in healthy adolescents. Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):4798.
  5. Mok CKP*, Cohen CA*, Cheng SMS, Chen C, Kwok KO, Yiu K, et al. Comparison of the immunogenicity of BNT162b2 and CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong. Respirology. 2022;27(4):301-10.
  6. Cohen CA, Li APY, Hachim A, Hui DSC, Kwan MYW, Tsang OTY, et al. SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses are lower in children and increase with age and time after infection. Nat Commun. 2021;12(1):4678.
  7. Nguyen THO, Cohen CA, Rowntree LC, Bull MB, Hachim A, Kedzierska K, Valkenburg SA. T cells targeting SARS-CoV-2: by infection, vaccination and against future variants. Front Med. 2021 Dec 24;8:793102. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.793102. PMID: 35004764.
  8. Li APY, Cohen CA, Leung NHL, Fang VJ, Gangappa S, Sambhara S, Levine MZ, Iuliano AD, Perera RAPM, Ip DKM, Peiris JSM, Thompson MG, Cowling BJ, Valkenburg SA. Immunogenicity of standard, high-dose, MF59-adjuvanted, and recombinant-HA seasonal influenza vaccination in older adults. NPJ Vaccines. 2021 Feb 16;6(1):25. doi: 10.1038/s41541-021-00289-5. PMID: 33594050.
  9. Hachim A, Kavian, N, Cohen CA, Chin AWH, Chu DKW, Mok CKP, Tsang OTY, Yeung YC, Perera RAPM, Poon LLM, Peiris JSM, Valkenburg SA. ORF8 and ORF3b antibodies are accurate serological markers of early and late SARS-CoV-2 infection. Nat Immunol 2020 Oct;21(10):1293-1301. PMID: 32807944.
  10. Kavian N, Hachim A, Li APY, Cohen CA, Chin AHW, Poon LLM, Fang VJ, Leung NHL, Cowling BJ, Valkenburg SA. Assessment of enhanced influenza vaccination finds FluAd advantage in mice and older adults. Clin Transl Immunology. 2020;9(2):e1107. Published 2020 Feb 3. PMID: 32025302