Ambassador of the Month


July 2018

Vicky GentOur July Ambassador of the Month is Vicky Gent, Graduate Assistant at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya. Vicky joined the Immunopaedia team this year, and  has contributed to the Breaking news page. Thank you Vicky for all your hard work

Name: Vicky Gent

Position: Graduate Assistant at the Department of Zoology (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology)

Research Institute: Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi

Research interests: Immunomodulators, vaccine development, neuroimmunology and currently looking into in silicoimmunology

Why do you love immunology: I love understanding how the immune system protects us. Immunology can blend with a multitude of disciplines and this can result in break-through innovations that can solve many of the world’s health challenges.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: Probably a Veterinarian, or a book store owning coffee barista 🙂

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Be flexible and read widely in the field of immunology so that you can get ideas for research. And most importantly, enjoy doing it.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: It’s wonderful being part of a group that focuses on immunology. I have easy access to a wide range of information on immunology which is written in a way that’s very easy to understand. Being part of the team that’s responsible for building this website is really amazing.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I have contributed to the Breaking news articles as well as shared the immunopaedia website with my colleagues at the university.

You can get in touch with me by: Researchgate; LinkedIn 

June 2018

Natkunam KetheesanOur June Ambassador of the Month is Natkunam Ketheesan, Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the  University of New England, Australia. Natkanum is a recent addition to our Immunopaedia team and  has contributed to the Breaking news page. Thank you Natkunam for all your hard work

Name: Natkunam Ketheesan

Position: Professor in Biomedical Science

Research Institute: University of New England, Australia

Research interests: Investigating host-pathogen interactions in bacterial infections

Recent publications:

Sikder S,… Ketheesan N (2018). Group G streptococcus induces an autoimmune IL-17A/IFN-γ mediated carditis in the Lewis rat model of Rheumatic Heart Disease. Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Morris JL, … Ketheesan N (2016) Devlopment of a diet-induced murine model ofdiabetes featuring cardinal metabolic and pathophysiological abnormalities of type 2 diabetes. Biology Open; 5(8):1149-62.

Gorton D, … Ketheesan N (2016). Repeat exposure to group A streptococcal M protein exacerbates cardiac damage in a rat model of rheumatic heart disease. Autoimmunity 25; 1-8.

Why do you love immunology: My area of research within immunology focuses on host-pathogen interactions in infection. I have also a keen interest in developing and characterising clinically relevant disease models. These models enable us to determine the immunepathological mechanisms involved in thedisease process and the possibly of using these models to develop strategies to either prevent these infections or enhance existing treatment regimes.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: Working as a biologist or a palaeontologist!

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: They should first consider a few things – if one is not fully committed or enjoy the different aspects of research, afraid of long hours of work and unable to put up with experiments not working the way one thinks they should – then they should never get into research – there aremuch better ways to live a life. However, if they are passionate about immunology research – they should go for it with everything that they have. One should always remember to have an open mind.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: When I was studying immunology as a university student 25 years ago, I could not access much material on the subject. Currently we have information overload and not everything on the web is accurate. Therefore, there is a need for credible provided by sources such as Immunopaedia.  Contributing to this endeavour means a lot to me as an academic teaching immunology.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I have contributed to “Breaking News” and have encouraged colleagues to become members of Immunopaedia. Additionally I have provided a list of material available on the Immunopaedia web to undergraduate students I teach, so that they can access this material.

You can get in touch with me by: LinkedIn – Natkunam Ketheesan

May 2018

Our May Ambassador of the Month is Thandeka Moyo, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thandeka has played a very active role at Immunopaedia by recently contributing to the Breaking news page. Thank you Thandeka for all your hard work.

Thandeka MoyoName: Thandeka Moyo

Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Research Institute: National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa

Research interests: HIV immunology, vaccines, antibodies

Recent publications:

Moyo T et al., Molecular basis of unusually high neutralization resistance in tier 3 HIV-1 strain 253-11.  Journal of Virology, 2018.

Moyo T et al., Chinks in the armor of the HIV-1 Envelope glycan shield: Implications for immune escape from anti-glycan broadly neutralizing antibodies. Virology, 2017.

Jacob RA*, Moyo T* et al., Anti-V3/glycan and anti-MPER neutralizing antibodies, but not anti-V2/glycan-site antibodies are strongly associated with higher anti-HIV-1 neutralization breadth and potency. Journal of Virology, 2015.

Why I love immunology: Understanding human immunology is at the core of understanding how our bodies respond and fight diseases and therefore gives a foundation for the development of drugs and vaccines to fight various conditions. Immunology has so many practical applications and is so diverse and broad that you can never get bored!

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: Criminal psychologist

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Read, read and read! Immunology is always evolving so keeping up to date with the current literature will give you a big advantage! But do not get overwhelmed by all the principles and concepts; there is so much to learn but plenty time to do so!

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: It means I get to support this platform which makes immunology accessible to the masses. I can promote the field of immunology and contribute to people’s education.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I have been involved with Immunopaedia since 2016. I have written articles, helped in the creation of course modules and conducted a “Immunologist of the Month” interviews. I have also given a Scitalk presentation as part of a collaboration between Immunopaedia and Keystone Symposia.

You can get in touch with me at: LinkedIn or Research Gate

April 2018

Our April Ambassador of the Month is Jose Mateus Triviño, PhD Student at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. Jose has played an active role  by promoting Immunopaedia and contributed to the Immunologist of the month page. Thank you Jose for all your hard work.

Name: Jose Mateus Triviño

Position: PhD student and Teaching Assistant , Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences

Research Institute: Laboratorio de Parasitología Molecular and the Unidad de Investigación en Ciencias Biomédicas from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana at Bogotá – Colombia.

Research interests: T cells, immune response in infectious diseases, basic immunology.

Recent publications : 
Mateus J et al., Antiparasitic treatment induces an improved CD8+ T cell response in chronic chagasic patients. The Journal of Immunology. 2017.
Lasso P, Mateus J, et al.,  Inhibitory receptor expression on CD8+ T cells is linked to functional responses against Trypanosoma cruzi antigens in chronic chagasic patients. The Journal of Immunology. 2015.
Mateus J, et al., Low frequency of circulating CD8+ T stem cell memory cells in chronic chagasic patients with severe forms of the disease. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2015.

Why I love immunology: The immunology is beautiful and understanding it, is a true art. For me, the immunology is exciting, it is related to all physiological process, since allows me understand many phenomena in humans. In my opinion, the immunology opens up new worlds and possibilities to learning these phenomena and therefore, one should always keep an open mind to discover it.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: I could be a singer, but I do not do it well… hahaha (I love the Colombian music, search it!). Possibly I would be working on something related to art or design :).

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Be autonomous, read constantly, find your passion and always discuss with critical thinking. Find a group that works on something that interests you and develop all your potential, remember that it is always better to go further. Just do the best you can!

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: Immunopaedia has everything!… Basic and applied immunology (clinical cases), meetings (events), immunology researchers’ interviews, breaking news… it is very complete tool. For me, being part of this, is a unique opportunity to learning constantly and meet people that work in this field of knowledge. I feel very proud to be part of this platform.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I promote the immunopaedia page with the immunology teachers, the undergraduate student groups (or research incubator groups) and to my immunologist partners. I have also contributed interviews to immunology researchers in Colombia and I’m also planning to request to the administrative directives from my institution, the inclusion of the Immunopaedia page on the website.

You can get in touch with me by: Research gate

March 2018

Giselle Ingratta

Our March Ambassador of the Month is Giselle Gabriela Ingratta, MSc Student at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Giselle has played an active role  by promoting Immunopaedia and contributed to the Breaking News page. Thank you Giselle for all your hard work.

Name:  Giselle Gabriela Ingratta

Position: Immunology teacher, researcher (Master student).

Research Institute: Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias.

Research interests: Vet immunology, Paratberculosis, Immunotherapy.

Recent publications:

Jolly A,Mascaró M, Ingratta G.G, et al. Evaluation of Hyaluronic Acid in Cattle: Physiological Variations Related to Age, Periparturition and in Clinical Cases of Paratuberculosis. Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology. 2016.

Ingratta G.G, et al. Intradermal reaction, bacterial load and pathological findings in calves experimentally infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolates from Argentina. Frontiers in Immunology. 2015.

Why I love immunology: I love immunology because it is a fundamental aspect of medicine. As a veterinarian, immunology is present from the basic health care of our domestic animals to the resolution of complex pathologies. In my opinion, researching and teaching about immunology is exciting because that knowledge is the key to preventing serious diseases that affect, not only animals, but also humans.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: a constant traveler, of course!

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: In my short experience as a teacher I could see that immunology is difficult to understand and integrate, due to its complexity. But I encourage young people to read and study about it because it is essential for their future professional practice. I always try to teach and understand immunology from the common sense and applying it to reality.

It is really exciting and has a wide field of action that they can be part of in the future, so do not give up!

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: It is a great opportunity to share knowledge and access information about immunology, both basics and specific topics. Immunopedia seems to me a fantastic tool to create ties that cross borders and allow us to be more connected as a global scientific community.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I gave a lecture in a congress of veterinary immunology, telling about the origins and the implications of Immunopaedia. I also introduced Immunopaedia to young scientists and to my immunologist partners. I’m also going to add Immunopaedia to our official website, when it is ready. I sent an abstract of a current scientific work about dog erythrocyte antigens involved in transfusion compatibilities.

You can get in touch with me by: LinkedIn – Giselle Ingratta

February 2018

Our February Ambassador of the Month is Kenneth Omollo, PhD Student at the University of Nairobi. Kenneth joined our Ambassador program in the last quarter of 2017, and has played an active role  by promoting Immunopaedia and contributing to the Breaking News page. Thank you Kenneth for all your hard work.

Name: Kenneth Omollo

Position:  PhD Student

Research Institute: University of Nairobi/Manitoba Research Program

Research interests: Mucosal Immunology, HIV Susceptibility, Hormonal Contraception Cellular Biology

Recent publications:

Boily-Larouche G, Omollo K, et al. CD161 identifies polyfunctional Th1/Th17 cells in the genital mucosa that are depleted in HIV-infected female sex workers from Nairobi, Kenya. Scientific Reports. 2017.

Omollo K, et al. The Impact of Sex Work Interruption on Blood-Derived T Cells in Sex Workers from Nairobi, Kenya. AIDS Research Human Retroviruses. 2016.

Why I love immunology: It is amazing to learn how the immune system works hard to protect us from diseases, and on the flipside, how the immune system itself can, when out of control, be the cause of debilitating conditions. I believe immunology provides answers to many infectious disease questions and human health in general. Many scientific breakthroughs that have led to effective interventions, like vaccines, have come from this field.

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: Probably a women’s rights activist ?

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: The field is diverse and highly dynamic. Identify your niche with an open mind and be willing to learn even from sub-fields remotely related to yours. Read… read… read… and ask questions.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: It means playing part in a great initiative aimed at enhancing learning in cutting edge science. IP provides access to resources that would otherwise not be available to many students and scientists especially those from resource limited settings, so I’m glad to contribute to its development.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: In addition to writing a breaking news article, I have promoted the website among my friends and colleagues at the university. I’m also planning to give talks on Immunopaedia at other universities in Nairobi.

You can get in touch with me by: Researchgate or LinkedIn


January 2018

Bea Choi

Our January Ambassador of the Month is Bea Choi, a Senior Scientist at Immunocore, United Kingdom. Bea has played an active role as an Immunopaedia ambassador by contributing to the Immunopaedia Breaking News page. Thank you Bea for all your hard work.

Name: Bea Choi

Position: Senior Scientist, Preclinical Team in Infectious Diseases

Research Institute: Immunocore

Research interests: Neglected tropical diseases, host-pathogen interactions, pathogen evasion of the host immune response

Why I love immunology:  What’s not to love?!!  Your body is amazing and immunology is a massive part of life and living!!

If I wasn’t an immunologist I would be: I love participating in Public Engagement work when I have the opportunity, so I would like to think I could be in that sector.

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Try to stay current, be flexible and be happy.  Research can evolve quite fast sometimes (and sometimes ironically, not fast enough), so you need to keep on top of the literature, current programmes and clinical trials and be flexible to evolve.  But most importantly, be happy!  If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it really shows.

What being an Immunopaedia Ambassador means to me: Being part of such an international family that have the same focus in promoting Immunology without Borders has been amazing!!  I love meeting people and this has been such a highlight and honor to be working with Immunopaedia.

How I have contributed to Immunopaedia so far: I contributed to and participated in IUIS-FAIS Immuno-Ethiopia, I’ve been promoting Immunopaedia via Twitter (@Beishmania), contributed to a Breaking News article based on a conference called Infectious Disease Week and this year I will be promoting Immunopaedia as part of a STEM programme through work with schools in the UK.

You can get in touch with me by: LinkedIn  or Twitter @Beishmania

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