Ambassador of the Month – 2017


December 2017

Cristina Artaza Irigaray

Cristina Artaza Irigaray

Our December Ambassador of the Month is Cristina Artaza Irigaray, a PhD candidate from University of Guadalajara in Mexico. Cristina is a passionate young immunologist who has played an active role as an Immunopaedia ambassador by contributing an Immunologist of the month interview article. Thank you for all the hard work Cristina.

Name: Cristina Artaza Irigaray

Position: PhD candidate at University of Guadalajara, Mexico

Research Institute: Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Occidente (CIBO-IMSS)

Research interests: Human papillomavirus, molecular biology, onco-immunology


Artaza-Irigaray C., Flores-Miramontes M. G., Olszewski D., Magaña-Torres M. T., López-Cardona M. G., Leal-Herrera Y. A., Piña-Sánchez P., Jave-Suárez L. F., Aguilar-Lemarroy A. (2017) “Genetic variability in E6, E7 and L1 genes of Human Papillomavirus 62 and its prevalence in Mexico.”, Infectious Agents and Cancer, 12:15.

López-Mateo, I., Arruabarrena-Aristorena, A., Artaza-Irigaray, C., López, J. A., Calvo, E., & Belandia, B. (2016). HEY1 functions are regulated by its phosphorylation at Ser-68. Bioscience Reports, 36(3), e00343.

Why I love immunology: I love immunology because it studies the main “warriors” that we have inside us that help us to stay alive and disease free. I find it thrilling to work in the laboratory with aim of a gaining a better understanding of the immune system, that will provide knowledge that will directly feed into the development of new prophylaxis and therapeutic treatments. Additionally, I find the field very exciting because there are still many aspects of immunology that we know very little about, that are still waiting to be discovered.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: A constant traveler 😉

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Be open minded and curious to learn more. Do not forget the reasons or ambitions that pushed you to become an immunologist. Always discuss, network and collaborate with other people and research groups, because by working together we shall reach our goals and progress faster as an immunological community.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: To me it means spreading the word of immunology and the amazing Immunopaedia project. I am passionate about immunology, being an ambassador is a platform for me to meet people that share the same interests and potentially start new collaborations.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I have recommended the website to many students and researchers. I have contributed to the website by providing an interview I conducted of an Immunologist that studies cytotoxic T cells.

You can get in touch with me by: Linkedin; ResearchGate

November 2017

Our November Ambassador of the Month is Postdoctoral researcher, Anthony. Anthony is a passionate immunologist who has been involved with the website by contributing a news article and presenting about Immunopaedia at the second largest teaching hospital in Ghana! Thank you for all the hard work Anthony.

Anthony Afum Awuah

Anthony Afum-Adjei Awuah

Name: Anthony Afum-Adjei Awuah

Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Research Institute: Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), Kumasi, Ghana

Research interests: Immune responses and modulation to TB, Vaccinology and vaccine trials, Clinical trials

Select publications:

Lundtoft, C., Afum-Adjei Awuah, A., Rimpler, J., Harling, K., Nausch, N., Kohns, M., Adankwah, E., Lang, F., Olbrich, L., Mayatepek, E., Owusu-Dabo, E. and Jacobsen, M. (2017) ‘Aberrant plasma IL-7 and soluble IL-7 receptor levels indicate impaired T-cell response to IL-7 in human tuberculosis.’, PLoS pathogens. Edited by D. M. Lewinsohn, 13(6), p. e1006425. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006425.

Lundtoft, C., Awuah, A. A.-A., Nausch, N., Enimil, A., Mayatepek, E., Owusu-Dabo, E. and Jacobsen, M. (2017) ‘Alternative Quantiferon cytokines for diagnosis of children with active tuberculosis and HIV co-infection in Ghana.’, Medical microbiology and immunology, 206(3), pp. 259–265. doi: 10.1007/s00430-017-0501-6.

Afum-Adjei Awuah, A., Ueberberg, B., Owusu-Dabo, E., Frempong, M. and Jacobsen, M. (2014) ‘Dynamics of T-cell IFN-γ and miR-29a expression during active pulmonary tuberculosis’, International immunology, 26(10). doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxu068.

Why I love immunology: A few reasons make me fond of immunology. It served as a conduit for me to better understand infectious diseases. It was also the only thing that made sense to me because I was able to see the amount of effort the body puts in before succumbing to an infection. Despite the flaws, immunology is a constant reminder of ambition, consistency, focus and the “good fight”.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: this is a hard one, maybe a teacher. I love to teach and I talk way too much.

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Immunology makes sense from the very beginning. It is a useful tool for finding solutions and it will present an opportunity to build career. Learn your material, ask questions, keep discussing what makes sense and what doesn’t. Learn to collaborate and draw from the experience of others.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: It presents a unique opportunity to bring immunology to many. It allows me to draw from the superior systems available to teach immunology in such a simple way. Its not an abstract course and I am grateful that Immunopaedia makes it even better and easier to study for those from the developing world with limited tools.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I have presented the course to faculty in the university, shared with students from our institute, course participants and colleagues. I hope to work with Immunopaedia soon to develop introductory course tailored for our curriculum here in Ghana to allow students to routinely take courses each year.

You can get in touch with me by: Email:;

October 2017

Naffesa A. Munim Al sheikh

Naffesa A. Munim Al sheikh

Naffesa is a researcher at the University of Khartoum, Sudan and is our Immunopaedia Ambassador for October. Nafessa recently presented an oral presentation on Immunopaedia at her university. She is an enthusiastic part of our Ambassador team and we are are happy to have her representing the website!

Name: Naffesa A. Munim Al sheikh

Position: Researcher

Research Institute: Institute of Endemic Diseases/University of Khartoum/Sudan

Research interests: Autoimmunity, Leishmaniasis, HIV, Lupus Nephritis

Why I love immunology: Because I believe that immunology has changed the face of modern medicine, starting from vaccination in its modern form (an innovation that has likely saved more lives than any other medical advance), to the many scientific breakthroughs that would lead to safe organ transplantation, the identification of blood groups, and the now ubiquitous use of monoclonal antibodies throughout science and healthcare.Immunology facilitated the discovery of new diagnostics and treatments to manage a wide array of diseases. In addition to the above, immunological research has provided critically important research techniques and tools, such as flow cytometry and antibody technology.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: Cinderella?? haha kidding.. A cosmologist.

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Immunology is a multidisciplinary science that will change the future of medicine!I studied Histopathology and Cytology and suddenly I have found myself solving many research questions by doing Immunology ha ha! I guess what I’m trying to say that Immunology is the key to open the door to a new era in please don’t hesitate and go for it!

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: Immunopaedia is a great resource that I believe it is going to open a new opportunity for Immunologists to connect from all over the world and to me, being an Ambassador is a responsibility to spread the word and allow all scientists to benefit from such amazing initative and I’m extremely grateful that I’m a part of it.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I’ve created a mini event in my institute and gave a lecture about Immunopaedia and introduced to young scientists and pioneers of the field. I have also introduced Immunopaedia to Eritrea. I have made an interview with two professors to be posted on “Immunologist of the month” soon. I’m also going to add Immunopaedia to our institute official website.

You can get in touch with me by: LinkedIn – Nana Al Sheikh

September 2017

Jennifer Garcia

Jennifer Enciso García

Our September Ambassador of the month is Jennifer Enciso García, a PhD student at the University of Mexico. Jennifer has contributed to Immunopaedia by writing a very interesting Breaking News article and also by locating others who can contribute to the website. She continues to fly the Immunopaedia flag high in her host institution and we are happy to have her on the team!

Name: Jennifer Enciso García

Position: PhD candidate

Research Institute: CIBIOR, Mexican Institute for Social Security, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City, Mexico

Research interests: Systems Immunology, Acute lymphoblastc leukemia, Tumor microenvironment

Select publications :

Enciso, J., Mayani, H., Mendoza, L., & Pelayo, R. (2016). Modeling the pro-inflammatory tumor microenvironment in acute lymphoblastic leukemia predicts a breakdown of hematopoietic-mesenchymal communication networks. Frontiers in Physiology, 7.

Enciso, J., Mendoza, L., & Pelayo, R. (2015). Normal vs. Malignant hematopoiesis: the complexity of acute leukemia through systems biology. Frontiers in Genetics, 6, 290.

Why I love immunology: I actually love the merging of immunology with other disciplines to understand complex diseases. I believe we can’t really understand the etiology and evolution of diseases without looking at the big picture and, specifically immunology, is an area that has rapidly evolved not only to explain mechanisms involved in pathology but also to offer innovative therapies.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: A science fiction writer, anyhow science is my inspiration resource.

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Do not get frightened! I think getting into a so rapidly-updating science can be very frightening, however it is also an area where you will never stop learning and growing. Even if your interest are not completely immunological, keeping up to date is a resource of new technologies, therapies and mechanisms appliable to almost any field.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: Being part of Immunopaedia has been a great opportunity for getting involved with people all around the world that is interested in collaborating on the development and spread of educational tools.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I have promoted it among my institute companions and writing a “Breaking News” article about cerebral caveronous malformations and microbiome.

You can get in touch with me by: writing to or following on LinkedIn and ResearchGate.

August 2017

Sergey Yegorov

Sergey Yegorov

Sergey Yegorov, PhD student at the University of Toronto, Canada, is our Immunopaedia Ambassador for August. Sergey recently presented a poster on Immunopaedia at the University of Toronto Immunology Retreat. He also developed our Immunopaedia Wikipedia page. We are proud to have such dynamic and enthusiastic Ambassadors on our team.

Name: Sergey Yegorov

Position: PhD candidate

Research Institute: University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Toronto, Canada

Research interests: Immunology and epidemiology of schistosomiasis, HIV and malaria. In addition I have a broad interest in molecular biology and evolution, which stems from my Master of Science degree research.

Select publications:

Yegorov, S. et al. 2016: Low prevalence of laboratory-confirmed malaria in clinically diagnosed adult women from the Wakiso district of Uganda. Malaria Journal.

Yegorov, S. et al. 2014: The relaxin family peptide receptors and their ligands: New developments and paradigms in the evolution from jawless fish to mammals. General and Comparative Endocrinology.

Yegorov, S and Good, S.V. 2012: Using Paleogenomics to Study the Evolution of Gene Families: Origin and Duplication History of the Relaxin Family Hormones and Their Receptors. Plos One.

Why I like immunology and, in particular, human immunology: I believe that immunology can provide very practical solutions to unresolved problems in modern medicine. My motivation to conduct PhD studies in human immunology and, specifically, in the field of infectious disease immunity is driven by my broad interest in epidemiological and immunological interactions between infectious diseases. I hope that my research will help generate effective strategies to combat morbidity in regions with high disease burden.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be… I just can’t imagine this 🙂

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Immunology is a field of rapidly changing paradigms. Keep up to date with primary research articles and read immunology text books with caution as text book material tends to lag behind the rapidly evolving knowledge of immunological systems!

What being an Immunopaedia (IP) Ambassador means to me: IP is an amazing resource of freely accessible state of the art immunological knowledge. What is equally important for me is that IP is also a communication platform that allows immunologists from all over the world easily connect with each other. As an IP ambassador, I am grateful for the opportunity given to me to participate in the development of this wonderful initiative and to contribute to global education and community building!

How I have contributed to IP so far: To promote IP within my department, I recently presented a poster about IP initiatives at the 11th Department of Immunology retreat, an important annual event for both faculty and students in the department. Notably IP has recently become a part of the student life page on the Department of Immunology webpage, thanks to a productive discussion we had with the Department chair Prof. Juan-Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker and Research Program Officer Dr. Korosh Kianizad. In addition to promoting IP within my department, I have also contributed material to the IP Breaking news section.

You can get in touch with me by: email ( or follow my social profiles listed at the Immunopaedia Ambassadors Page.

International Union of Immunological SocietiesUniversity of South AfricaInstitute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineScience Education PrizesElizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation