The first Australian images taken of SARS-CoV-2 by Dr Jason Roberts, Head of the Electron Microscopy and Structural Virology Laboratory at the Doherty Institute in Parkville, Victoria on Friday, 31 January 2020.

Scientists at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) were the first researchers outside of China to grow the 2019 novel coronavirus in cell culture. This significant breakthrough has allowed accurate investigation and diagnosis of the virus globally. As having the real virus allows researchers to validate and verify their work.

Description of Content

Grayscale image of virus taken through an electron microscope.

Physical Description

Born Digital Image.


This digital image is the first Australian image taken of SARS-CoV-2 on Friday, 31 January 2020.

These images were taken at the Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity in Melbounre. The Doherty was the first institute to grow the SARS-CoV-2 virus outside of China (where it had previously been grown and studied -- including genetic analysis). The Doherty Institute was then the first in the world to share this lab grown virus with the international secientific community. The speed of this action likely speeded many avenues of COVID-19 research, including diagnostics, and work towards possible vaccines and treatments, as well as speeding the understanding of the biology of this virus and disease. These are all areas that the Doherty is also working in. The research community has shown lots of collaboration within Australlia (eg Doherty with CSIRO) and internationally.

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