Oximmuno - Meet the team (1)
10 July 2020
Meet the authors of the Diabetes and COVID-19 blog post - Elizabeth Mann, Barbora Schonfeldova, Max Quastel, Mathilde Pohin, & Athena Cavounidis
I moved from London 2.5 years ago to join the laboratory of Professor Fiona Powrie’s lab as a postdoctoral researcher at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford. Before that I trained as an immunologist and during my PhD, investigated how vitamin D and air pollution modulate immune responses. In Oxford my research has focussed on applying my immunology knowledge to improve our understanding of what causes bowel cancer. Such knowledge will hopefully allow us to identify which individuals are at a higher risk and develop to therapies. Outside of work I like to keep physically active and before COVID-19 hit, was due to complete a trio of triathlons this summer!
I am a first-year PhD student in the laboratory of Professor Irina Udalova investigating the onset of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. I am particularly interested in the interplay between different immune cells in the joint during this disease. Outside of the laboratory, I like to play various sports, hike, read fantasy books and drink an extensive amount of coffee.
After completing a PhD in cellular and molecular immunology in the University of Poitiers, I recently joined the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in November 2017.
My research aims to understand the function of stromal cells in IBD and how these cells interact with immune cells to sustain chronic inflammation. I am particularly interested in identifying cytokines pathways that might be relevant as therapeutic targets.
I completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, during which immunology captivated me. I hence decided to pursue this interest further through the MSc in Integrated Immunology, carrying out my master’s thesis in Holm Uhlig’s lab. During this time I worked on modelling phagocyte defects using iPS cells and bacterial handling defects in inflammatory bowel disease, projects that I continued to work on as a research assistant in the lab. I am now a DPhil student interrogating defective anti-microbial pathways in Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome.
What to read next
Diabetes and COVID-19
10 July 2020
Why are diabetics at high risk of suffering particularly severe responses to viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19?