Infection, Immunology & Translational Medicine (IITM) Oxford

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2013

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Florian Brod

Florian Brod

I studied Biochemistry in Frankfurt where I graduated in 2012. After a short period of working as a research assistant I started my PhD in the IITM program in October 2013. After rotations in my first year had taken me to the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology (Quentin Sattentau) and to the Mahidol Oxford Research Unit in Bangkok (Susie Dunachie and Nick Day), I settled for a PhD at the Jenner Institute working on vaccines against malaria with Adrian Hill and Sumi Biswas. My research focuses on the generation of novel virus like particle (VLP) vaccines that target multiple life cycles of the malaria parasite in both, the human host and the mosquito vector. My secondary research focus is on the process of infection of the mosquito by the parasite, specifically on protein-protein interactions between the invasive ookinete and the mosquito midgut that could be exploited for targets of transmission blocking vaccines.


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Jack Dorling

Jack Dorling

Hi, I’m Jack, a final-year IITM DPhil student working in the Department of Biochemistry under Prof. Petros Ligoxygakis. As an undergraduate, I studied Zoology, focusing on evolutionary biology and ecology. During this time I developed an interest in host-microbe interactions and have since spent my years here at Oxford studying interactions between the host innate immune system and pathogens. This has taken me through the laboratories of Prof. Keith Gull, studying regulation of host-pathogen interaction gene expression by Trypanosoma bruceii, and of Dr. Jeanne Salje, studying peptidoglycan metabolism in the causative agent of Scrub Typhus; Orientia tsutsugamushi. Now, my PhD research focuses on peptidoglycan metabolism and interactions with the host innate immune system at the cell surface of Staphylococcus aureus. In future, I hope to move more towards environmental microbiology, particularly microbial metabolism and ecology, and the interaction of microbes with the geological world.


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Laura Makin

Laura Makin

I did Natural Sciences at Cambridge where I specialized in Pathology and all things infectious in my final year. From the start infectious disease, particularly in the context of tropical medicine and global health, has been my passion. For my rotations I worked with Eva Gluenz, Omer Dushek/Anton van der Merwe and Jeanne Salje/Nick Day. This final rotation was in Bangkok which was a fantastic opportunity to experience life in the lab in a completely different setting. The Mahidol centre in Bangkok was particularly strong in translational medicine and field work and it was really exciting to be in an environment which dealt directly with the diseases which interest me. I’m now working with Eva Gluenz on host-parasite interactions in Leishmania which causes the neglected tropical disease leishmaniasis. I have become focused on the field of extracellular vesicles and am investigating their subcellular origin and effects on host macrophages.


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Benjamin Nilsson

Benjamin Nilsson

Before joining the IITM programme, I studied Biology at Imperial College London and graduated in 2013. During my undergraduate studies I gained research experience through summer internships working on KSHV gene expression and HCV entry mechanisms as well as my undergraduate research project working on the Anopheles gambiae immune system. In Ervin Fodor’s lab, I am interested in the replication of influenza viruses and how the virus and host cells interact with each other during an infection. Apart from Ervin Fodor I also undertook lab rotations in Quentin Sattentau’s lab working on adhesive molecules in the virological synapse between T cells and macrophages in HIV infection and in Sarah Rowland-Jones’ lab working on intra-person gene evolution of HIV-1 in different disease stages. I am currently applying for a Postdoc and hoping to continue researching viruses.

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