| Universiti Putra Malaysia

UPM researcher leading COVID-19 vaccine research

By: Nor Adilla Alfadzil


SERDANG –  Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) researcher, Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Khatijah Mohd Yusoff, is leading research to develop the COVID-19 vaccine.

She is assisted by several UPM researchers, the Veterinary Research Institute (VRI) and experts from the University of Oxford using the Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) to develop the vaccine.

The research commenced in March this year also received an allocation of RM2.7 million under the MOSTI Combating COVID-19 Fund (MCCOF), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).

Through the MCCOF allocation, 18 month period was given to produce the COVID-19 vaccine up to the pre-clinical phase, which will be tested on animals and performed in Malaysia.

Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Khatijah, a microbiologist and a virologist with more than 30 years of experience studying NDV said the NDV isolated from chicken in the country would be used and act as a vector to stimulate the human immune system to produce antibodies against COVID-19.

Her expertise and experience in research developing the NDV vaccine against cancer will be fully utilised in developing the COVID-19 vaccine. NDV does not infect humans but infects birds or chickens only.

She is confident that the vaccine is safe for humans.

She said that this is the starting point for researchers in Malaysia to develop vaccines for other diseases in the future. - UPM