Ambassador of the Month – 2022


April 2022

Frédéric Christian Diaz is our April Ambassador of the Month and is based at the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal. He has moved from pharmaceutical studies into the biological sciences and is pursuing a Masters in Immunology and Infection.

Research Interests:
As a young immunology student, immuno-parasitology and immuno-allergy are my fields of interest. To receive my Doctor of Pharmacy I completed a thesis about the Immunology of Bilharzia and the immuno-modulation observed. I am two years into my Masters of immuno-infection where I am focusing on the Expression of RFcƐ1 on neutrophils in Atopic dermatitis on Senegalese people (West-Africa). I specifically focus on the aspects of lesion tissues, histological environment and immune cells activated and their roles during acute, chronic, and therapeutic phases.

Why I love Immunology:
I have always had a deep inquisitiveness about the human body and physiological mechanisms. I remember, as a child, asking family and teachers about how the human body works. I have found those answers in immunology.

If I wasn’t an immunologist, I would be:
A military officer (laugh), I have a lot of admiration for soldiers, I see their respect, order, humility, and discipline.

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology:
The most important is an unconditional love for the field, second would be discipline and third; team spirit and lastly; challenging yourself.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me:
Being an immunopaedia ambassador is one the best ways for scientists to exchange information from diverse backgrounds; it is a big opportunity to learn from one another. I would also like showcase scientists’ potential which is often underestimated.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far and plans for future contributions:
I have submitted new articles; T cells and skin disease and Atopic dermatitis and the skin microbiome.  I really want to be an active Ambassador and partner of Immunopaedia, so more submissions are coming.

March 2022

Our March Ambassador of the Month is Maria-Bernadette Madel, a Postdoctoral Associate based in the USA. Maria completed her PhD in Immunology and Microbiology at the University Côte d’Azur in Nice, France, where she was working on the identification of potential mechanisms that play a role in inflammatory bone destruction. During her postdoc at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, USA, Maria worked on the identification of mechanisms in age-related bone loss.

Research interests:
My research interest is in osteoimmunology and in the immune function of osteoclasts.

Recent publications:

  1. Halper J, Madel MB, Blin-Wakkach C. Differentiation and Phenotyping of Murine Osteoclasts from Bone Marrow Progenitors, Monocytes, and Dendritic Cells. Methods Mol Biol. 2021. 2308:21-34.
  2. Madel MB, Fu H, Pierroz DD, Schiffrin M, Winkler C, Wilson A, Pochon C, Toffoli B, Taïeb M, Jouzeau JY, Gilardi F, Ferrari S, Bonnet N, Blin-Wakkach C, Desvergne B, Moulin D. Lack of Adiponectin Drives Hyperosteoclastogenesis in Lipoatrophic Mice. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021. Apr 1;9:627153.
  3. Madel MB, Ibáñez L, Ciucci T, Halper J, Rouleau M, Boutin A, Hue C, Duroux-Richard I, Apparailly F, Garchon HJ, Wakkach A, Blin-Wakkach C. Dissecting the phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of mouse inflammatory osteoclasts by the expression of Cx3cr1. Elife. 2020. May 13;9:e54493.

Why I love immunology:
I love immunology because immunology is the foundation of modern medicine, which has been highlighted once more by the recent development of the COVID vaccine.

If I wasn’t an immunologist, I would be:
I would be an archeologist, because that way I could find out what was going on in ancient times.

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology:
My advice for young scientists who want to break into the field of immunology is to be curious, never stop exploring, and most importantly, start building your network as soon as possible, as this can help you get guidance and ideas for your research, but also to build career as a future scientist.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me:
I joined immunopaedia in 2018, being part of the immunopaedia family is a great opportunity, not only because I can connect and network with immunologists around the globe, but also because I can promote research and knowledge about immunology and contribute to immunology education.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far and plans for future contributions:
So far, I have written several articles for the Breaking News section and conducted an interview with Dr. Andreas Bergthaler (Immunologist of the Month 2020). In the past, I have also been involved in keeping the content of our website up to date and designed some online course questions on various topics. My most recent contribution is a summary article on how the gut microbiota is related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and I have many more plans for future contributions.

You can get in touch with be by:
LinkedIn: MBMadel
Twitter: @MB__Madel

February 2022

Our February Ambassador of the Month is Yanet Valdez Tejeira, MSc PhD. Yanet is an Independent Scientific Consultant in Vancouver, Canada. Yanet is the British Columbia leader of the COVID19 resources, an initiative that supports Canada’s response to the pandemic. She leads “Vaccine Conversations”, a program that addresses vaccine confidence. She is one of the experts in the weekly vaccine questions and answers from the public and helps to explain the pandemic to the citizens in plain language. She is also an invited Professor at Universities in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia where she teaches Immunology to Graduate Students and Medical Doctors. Yanet is also a member of the board of directors of the Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis Foundation Inc.

Research interests:
My research interests are in mucosal immunology and pathogenesis.

Recent publications:
My latest publication reflects my growing interest in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Academia: “Equity, diversity, and inclusion in academia: lessons from the Canadian Society of Immunology.

Why I love immunology:
I love immunology because I’m constantly learning about our fascinating immune system. I’m captivated by how intricate and sophisticated the system is, and how it has evolved to protect us from dangers, even the ones posed by our own bodies.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be:
A paleontologist, or I would tend to a sustainable garden.

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology:
Be compassionate with yourself, because the work can be mentally, physically, and emotionally demanding.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me:
It offers me an opportunity to share the amazing work of Immunopaedia with the world. Access to education is incredibly important to me, and I love how Immunopaedia is making information on immunology easier to access for everyone, especially low-income and under-resourced students.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far and plans for future contributions:
I have made a video for Immunopaedia interviewing the co-founders of Global ImmunoTalks. I’m currently recruiting for “Immunologist of the Month”, and plan to make more content and amplify the work of Immunopaedia via my other Twitter account, @ImmunoLatinXs.

You can get in touch with me by:
Reaching out via Twitter – @YaneValdezT or LinkedIn – Yanet Valdez Tejeira

January 2022

Our first Ambassador of the Month for 2022 is Gaurang Telang; a research assistant at Logical Life Science Pvt. Ltd, Pune, India and final year master student at D.Y. Patil University, Pune, India.

Research interests: T cell immunology and related T cell subsets in chronic inflammatory diseases such as chronic kidney diseases. I also focus on multiplex flow cytometry of cytokines and chemokines. As a master’s student in my final year, I am working on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and cytokines on primary tissue and blood samples.

Recent publications:

  1. Badodekar, N., Sharma, A., Patil, V., Telang, G., Sharma, R., Patil, S., Vyas, N., & Somasundaram, I. (2021). Angiogenesis induction in breast cancer: A paracrine paradigm. Cell biochemistry and function39(7), 860-873.
  2. Vyas, N., Mishra, S., Telang, G., Badodekar, N., & Kumari, M. (2021). Cytokine Storm in COVID- 19: A Thing to Worry About or Not? 1(2), 1–2.
  3. Vyas, N., Telang, G., Mishra, S., & Kumari, M. (2021). Keratoacanthoma: Understanding by Immune Responses. 1(2), 4–6.

Why I love immunology: Since my undergrad immunology has fascinated me due to the striking resemblance of complexity to human society. Moreover, immunology is the culmination of cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be:  Biological illustrator, in fact, I do make biological comics and scientific illustrations.

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: As an early-stage researcher myself I have 3 tips for students looking to enter immunology. First, clear the basics of biology and never forget the “WHY”. Second, don’t limit yourself to a particular stream of immunology early on such as infectious biology or cancer immunology. The third tip would be to learn (as much as possible) to understand, analyse and interpret experimental data from research papers such as flow cytometry, sequencing, etc.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: Immunopaedia is an amazing platform to share knowledge on novel studies and perspectives to everyone for free and as an ambassador, this means a lot to me to share this amazing platform with as many as possible.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far and plans for future contributions: I have written a breaking news article and am currently working on more. Furthermore, I am planning to interview immunologists and share their research.

You can get in touch with me by: LinkedIn

International Union of Immunological SocietiesUniversity of South AfricaInstitute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineElizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids FoundationStellenbosch University