Europe


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Immunopaedia Ambassadors – Europe

Our Ambassadors from across Europe.


Leonce KouakanouWhat is your name?
Léonce Kouakanou

What is your current position?
PhD Student

Which institute and country do you work in?
Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Institute of Immunology, UKSH, Kiel, Germany

What is your home country?
Benin

What are your research interests?
Immune regulation, T cell differentiation, Epigenetics

Tell us about yourself and your research interests:
After a Postgraduate degree, I joined since 2015 as PhD student (with a fellowship provided by DAAD) the Institute of Immunology (University of Kiel, Germany). My PhD project is focused on functional and epigenetic aspects of human gamma/delta T cell differentiation. To address the related questions, different methods such as Cell Culture, Flow cytometry, RT-PCR, ELISA and nucleic acid Sequencing are used.

While my project is ongoing, I became a member of German Society for Immunology (DGfI). Moreover, I happily participated at the 2016 IUIS Immunology course organized in The Gambia. There, I took the initiative to create a group for networking among young West African researchers. This group called West African Young ImmunoInvestigators aims to provide an interface for network and therefore, establish an intra and inter country collaboration in West Africa. To this end, a facebook page has been created on which relevant topics related to Immunology and to capacity building are regularly posted.

As a highly motivated and hard-working young scientist, my goal is to obtain excellent training during my PhD (and possibly after post-doc period) before going back to Benin and help to create a new generation of well-educated and highly motivated young scientists in Africa.

What are your online profiles?
LinkedIn – Leonce Kouakanou
Facebook Page – WestAfricanYoungImmunoInvestigators

Immunology Keywords: Immunoregulation-γδ,  T cells-epigenetics


Bea ChoiWhat is your name?
Bea Choi

What is your current position?
Senior Scientist

Which institute and country do you work in?
Infectious Diseases Preclinical Research Team, Immunocore, United Kingdom

What is your home country?
United Kingdom

What are your research interests?
Host-pathogen interaction, pathogen escape from the host immune response, and regulation of the host immune response to resolve infections

Tell us about yourself and your research interests:
Following completion of my PhD with Drs Pascale Kropf and Ingrid Müller (Imperial College London, UK) looking at arginase mediated L-arginine depletion in leishmaniasis, pregnancy and HIV, I continued my training as a postdoctoral scientist (University of Georgia, USA) investigating the impact of glycoproteins expressed by Schistosoma, on the host immune response.  When returning to the UK, I took a short contract at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to work with peptide vaccines against melioidosis.  During my second postdoctoral position, I studied the role of apoptosis during T cell homeostasis at University College London, before moving into my current role as a Senior Scientist with the Infectious Diseases Preclinical Research team at Immunocore.

My interests include pathogen circumvention of the host immune response and manipulation of the host immune response to resolve infections.  I enjoy outreach work with Drs Pascale Kropf and Ingrid Müller, which include teaching in Ethiopia.  I am a strong believer in the empowerment of low and middle income countries, promoting women in science and raising the awareness of neglected tropical diseases.  Now I am an ambassador for Immunopaedia, to join in their mission to promote knowledge and research in immunology.

What are your online profiles?
LinkedIn – Bea Choi
Twitter – @Beishmania

Immunology Keywords: Infectious diseases, immune modulation and T cells


Kathrin HeldWhat is your name?
Kathrin Held

What is your current position?
Scientist

Which institute and country do you work in?
Department for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany

What is your home country?
Germany

What are your research interests?
Infection & Immunity, adaptive immune response

Tell us about yourself and your research interests:
I am a scientist in the Infection & Immunity laboratory at the Department for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Medical Centre of the University of Munich (LMU), in Germany. My main research interest is the immunology of infectious and autoimmune diseases. I received my doctorate in Biology from the LMU, Munich on the role of T cells in the control of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Latency in Human Trigeminal Ganglia. During my post-doctoral fellowship on CNS autoimmune diseases, I studied T-cell receptors and target antigens of putatively autoreactive T cells. Currently, I am focusing on the adaptive immune response against HIV and TB infection in humans using fluorescence immunohistochemistry, polychromatic flow cytometry, as well as molecular methods like next generation sequencing.

What are your online profiles?
ResearchGate – Kathrin Held

Immunology Keywords: T cells, infectious diseases, immunohistochemistry


Fabien ProdjinothoWhat is your name?
Fabien Ulrich Prodjinotho

What is your current position?
Postdoctoral researcher

Which institute and country do you work in?
Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Immunologie und Hygiene (IMMIH), Technische Universtät München (TUM), Munich, Germany

What is your home country?
Benin

What are your research interests?
Infections with helminths, immunoregulation, parasitology

Tell us about yourself and your research interests:
I completed my Master degree in 2008 at the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin) with the focus on the cellular and humoral markers in relation with diabetes. When completing my Master degree, I developed a keen interest and passion for research on helminth infections, specially the immunological and molecular mechanisms associated with these infections. This led me to the University of Lome (Togo), where, for my Postgraduate degree in 2009, I investigated the importance of the use of active molecules from medicinal plants against helminth infections. After my Postgraduate degree, I served as research assistant from 2010 to 2012 at the University of Abomey-Calavi. In 2013, I was awarded a scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and financial support from the BONFOR research committee for a PhD in Immunology and Parasitology at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology of the University of Bonn (Germany). I completed my PhD thesis in January 2017 on the regulation of effector immune mechanisms during helminth infections and the particular role of the antibody IgG4. Currently I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene at the Technical University of Munich (Germany).

What are your online profiles?
ANSA ev –  Fabien Prodjinotho
LinkedIn – Fabien Prodjinotho
Facebook Page –  WestAfricanYoungImmunoInvestigators

Immunology Keywords: Infections with helminths, immunoregulation, IgG4


Yegnasew Takele TeferiWhat is your name?
Yegnasew Takele Teferi

What is your current position?
PhD student

Which institute and country do you work in?
Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom

What is your home country?
Ethiopia

What are your research interests?
Innate and adaptive immune response in Leishmania infections, Immune response in patients with visceral leishmaniasis and HIV co-infection

Tell us about yourself and your research interests:
I have 12 years of experience working as the head of the Leishmaniasis Research and Treatment Centre laboratory, University of Gondar. My main research interests are the immune response and immunopathology in patients with cutaneous or visceral leishmaniasis, aiming to provide evidence for the development of better treatments and vaccine against leishmaniasis.

Currently, I am a Wellcome Trust fellow in public health and tropical medicine and a PhD student at Imperial College London. I am working on a project entitled ‘Identification of immune mechanisms and genes associated with the high rate of relapse in patients with visceral leishmaniasis and HIV co-infections’.

What are your online profiles?
ResearchGate – Yegnasew Takele

Immunology Keywords: Innate immunity, adaptive immunity


Dirk WerlingWhat is your name?
Dirk Werling

What is your current position?
Professor of Molecular Immunology

Which institute and country do you work in?
Royal Veterinary College, University of London, UK

What is your home country?
Germany

What are your research interests?
Innate Immunity, vaccinology, carbohydrate-based vaccines

Tell us about yourself and your research interests:
After gaining a First class BSc.VetMed. (Veterinary University Hannover), my Dr.Med.Vet. thesis at the ETH Zuerich examined the impact of Bovine Leukaemia Virus infection on the ability of bovine macrophages to respond to LPS. This work was then followed by a stipend of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) to participate in the PostGraduate course in Experimental Medicine, run by the University Hospital Zuerich. After a year, I returned to ETH Zuerich with a Postdoctoral Research Fellow Stipend of the German Research Foundation (DFG). This was followed by a Marie Curie Research Fellowship of the EU to join the group of Chris Howard at the Institute for Animal Health (Compton Laboratories) to work on the development and characterisation of dendritic cells and their role in respiratory syncytial virus infection. From here, I moved back to the ETH Zuerich as a Senior Scientist (Oberassistent). During this period I expanded the scope of my work to encompass the development of the innate immune system in ruminants, and aspect of pathogen escape mechanisms in innate immune cells. In 2001, I accepted an Assistant Professorship (Tenure Track) at the Institute of Virology (University of Berne), in the group of Thomas Jungi. In 2003, I accepted a Senior Lectureship at the Royal Veterinary College, and was promoted to a personal tenured Chair and Professor in Molecular Immunology in 2007. The key motivation for this move was the unique opportunity to develop dendritic cell based vaccines for farm animals by targeting the then newly discovered class of innate immune receptors, such as the Toll-like receptors. In this role I have been responsible from the outset for the design, implementation and evaluation of new vaccine delivery platforms. These activities have attracted substantial funding and resulted of the submission of 3 different patent-applications. My research during this period has naturally been biased towards research administration, where close working relationships with industrial partners has been essential. Throughout, however, I have continued to make significant contributions to answering the function of the innate immune response in farm animals and evolutionary questions associated with identified differences between farm animals, human and mice. I have produced so far over 100 Peer Reviewed Publications in international journals across a broad range of empirical research topics such as that of the coevolution between host and pathogens, and the species-specific recognition of pathogens. My current research is funded through BBSRC, EU (FP7 and EMIDA), Newton Fund as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What are your online profiles?
LinkedIn – Dirk Werling
ResearchGate – Dirk Werling

Immunology Keywords:
Pattern Recognition receptors, innate immune cells, glycobiology

 
 
 
 
 
 
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