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Lauren Jelley

Lauren Jelley is the Technical Lead for ESR's Clinical Virology Department conducting viral surveillance for New Zealand.


PhD candidate, University of Otago, New Zealand. Master of Applied Science, RMIT University, Australia.


Lauren obtained her undergraduate Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Victoria University of Wellington before moving to Australia and working in diagnostic laboratories in Melbourne and Sydney. In 2009, Lauren begun working at the Victorian infectious disease reference laboratory (VIDRL) in the State Reference Laboratory for HIV. In 2012, obtained a Master of Applied Science from RMIT University, and started a role in the WHO collaborating Centre for influenza reference and research. In 2015, Lauren moved back to New Zealand and joined the Clinical Virology team at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR). Currently, Lauren is a PhD candidate with the University of Otago, completing a PhD in the genomic epidemiology of respiratory viruses in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Lauren works with ESR's Clinical Virology Department to conduct viral surveillance for Aotearoa, New Zealand. The department is the WHO, national influenza centre for New Zealand and the WHO accredited laboratory for polio. The department also conducts testing for blood borne viruses and arboviruses. Surveillance of viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and enteroviruses including polio are of great public health importance to New Zealand. Surveillance of these viruses include subtyping, serotyping and lineage of positive samples using molecular methods. Viral culture is performed for multiple viruses, in particular Influenza samples so that testing can be performed to determine vaccine effectiveness and neuraminidase resistance of the viruses circulating in New Zealand. This information is needed for the yearly influenza vaccine strain selection.