NSI Rising Stars

NSI Rising Stars in Immunology Seminar Series

The NSI Rising Stars in Immunology Seminar Series is a new NSI initiative last year (2021) that aims to invite young PIs from all over the world working on immunology.

Please send us your suggestions for future speakers! We are striving for a broad coverage of immunology topics, geographical locations as well as gender balance.

Send speaker suggestions to Victor Greiff: victor.greiff@medisin.uio.no

Next meeting

Speaker: Dr. Amalie Kai Bentzen from the Technical University of Denmark.

“Interrogating T cell recognition across cancers, infections and autoimmune diseases using MHC multimers labeled with DNA barcodes”

Talk coordinates: 17th Jan 2023, at 14:00.

Zoom link: https://uio.zoom.us/j/64133018041?pwd=Q0V5SHZaSzFvNVpxdFVXSmQ0dDFDdz09
Meeting ID: 641 3301 8041
Passcode: 524231

Bio: Amalie Kai Bentzen is a Postdoc in the Section of Experimental and Translational Immunology at the Technical University of Denmark. She has a BSc in Biotechnology and a MSc in Human Biology both from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She started doing research in Immunology and Cancer during her Master’s in her thesis work at the Danish National Center for Cancer Immune Therapy (CCIT-DK). This would be the start of her efforts towards developing high-throughput strategies for interrogating CD8 T cell recognition. She has made her Phd  in Sine Reker Hadrup’s lab at the Technical University of Denmark, where she has developed DNA barcode-based MHC multimer approaches for understanding CD8 T cell recognition, initially in melanoma and lung cancer, but later in a broader range of diseases. During her Postdoc in the same lab, she has focused on mapping T cell recognition on a single-cell level to track the TCR and clonal origin of disease relevant T cells.

Key papers:







Previous NSI Rising Stars Meetings

Speaker: Dr. Jenna Guthmiller (University of Colorado School of Medicine.)

Humoral Immunity against Influenza Viruses: The Good, The Bad,

and The Ugly”

Talk coordinates: Wednesday, September 21st 2022, at 14.30.  

Zoom link: https://uio.zoom.us/j/64940225066pwd=UEF4dmNGN0F2U3V5RVBTUVBpNzZJQT09

Meeting ID: 649 4022 5066

Passcode: 901582

Bio:  Dr. Jenna Guthmiller is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Jenna received her PhD from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2017, where she studied the regulation of humoral immunity against blood-stage Plasmodium parasites under the mentorship of Dr. Noah Butler. She went on to perform her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Patrick Wilson at the University of Chicago, where she shifted her focus towards understanding B cell specificities against influenza viruses. As a new investigator, her group studies the specificities, function, and evolution of broadly protective antibody responses against influenza viruses and how vaccination can induce a robust broadly protective antibody response.

Some key papers:

  • Guthmiller JJ*†, Han J, […], Ward AB†, Wilson PC†. Broadly neutralizing antibodies target a hemagglutinin anchor epitope. Nature. 2022
  • Guthmiller JJ, Lan YL, Fernández-Quintero M, Han J, Bitar D, Hamel N, Stovicek O, Li L, Tepora M, Henry C, Neu K, Dugan H, Chen YQ, Liu STH, Stamper CT, Zheng NY, Huang M, Palm AKE, García-Sastre A, Nachbagauer R, Palese P, Coughlan L, Krammer F, Ward AB, Liedl K, Wilson PC†. Polyreactive broadly neutralizing B cells are selected to provide defense against pandemic threat influenza viruses. Immunity. 2020
  • Google scholar:https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=4arwbfMAAAAJ&hl=en
  • Website: https://guthmillerlab.weebly.com/l

Speaker: Dr. Quirin Hammer (Karolinska Institutet)

“NK cell recognition of viruses”

Talk coordinates: Thursday, June 2nd 2022, at 14.00. 


Meeting ID: 690 4981 9582

Passcode: 500444

Bio: Dr. Quirin Hammer obtained his PhD in Immunology from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany in 2018. During his doctoral studies, he investigated how natural killer (NK) cells of the innate immune system respond to different strains of cytomegalovirus under supervision from Prof. Chiara Romagnani at the German Rheumatism Research Center. After his PhD, Quirin joined the Center of Infectious Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden under the mentorship of Prof. Karl-Johan Malmberg. At KI, Quirin is heading a team exploring the molecular signals that allow NK cells to recognize virus-infected or tumor transformed cells and aims to translate his findings into advancing immunotherapy.

Some key papers:

Speaker: Dr. Feix Hartmann (German Cancer Research Center)

Single-Cell Proteomics and Multiplexed Imaging to Reveal Metabolic Interactions in the Tumor-Immune Microenvironment”

Talk coordinates: Thursday, March 10 2022, at 14.00.


Meeting ID: 610 9018 1291

Passcode: 834300

Bio: Dr. Felix Hartmann is a Helmholtz Young Investigator German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany. He performed his postdoctoral work in the lab of Bendall Lab (Stanford) and his PhD in the Becher lab (University of Zürich). In the Bendall lab, he conceived and implemented a novel approach to quantify cellular metabolism of individual cells using proteomic mass spectrometry-based technologies, established simultaneous metabolic and phenotypic analysis of single cells by mass cytometry (CyTOF) and of human tissues by multiplexed ion beam imaging (MIBI-TOF), and revealed tumor-specific metabolic features of cytotoxic T cells in cancer patients. In the Becher lab, he investigated the regulation of T cell cytokine production as a pathologic mechanism in human multiple sclerosis, conducted proteomic single-cell analysis of large clinical patient cohorts, revealed specific cytokine production profiles as biomarkers of therapeutic success. Among his academic honors and awards are: Helmholtz Young Investigator, Ivring Cancer Immunology Scholar, EMBO Long-term postdoctoral fellowship, AAI Young Investigator Award, Novartis Postdoctoral fellowship, SNF Early Postdoc Fellowship, Pfizer Research Prize.

Some key papers:

Speaker: Dr. Daniela Latorre (ETH Zürich)

“Autoreactive T cells in neurological disorders”

Date: Thursday, Feb 17 2022, at 14.00.  

Talk coordinates:


Meeting ID: 688 8582 8043

Passcode: 941391

Bio: Daniela Latorre, Dr. Daniela Latorre is an immunologist at the Institute of Microbiology, ETH Zurich. After obtaining her PhD in Immunology at “Sapienza” University of Rome in Italy, she moved to Switzerland to perform her Postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Prof. Federica Sallusto first at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Bellinzona and later at the newly established Medical Immunology laboratory at ETHZ. During these years, she focused her studies on several aspects of human T cells biology in physiological and pathological conditions, including autoimmunity and immunodeficiency. Her main postdoctoral work provided the first solid evidence of the autoimmune basis of narcolepsy, a rare neurological disorder (Latorre D et al., Nature, 2018) and opened new perspectives in the field of sleep- related disorders by prompting new studies with major translational implications to the clinics. This research earned her several prizes, including the well-renowned Pfizer Research Prize 2020, the Young Scientist Award 2019 by EU-NN and the Best International Young Researcher on Narcolepsy 2018 by AIN. Since 2019, she has received different research grants, including the highly competitive PRIMA career grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation that allowed her to start an independent career and to establish the Human Neuroimmunology Group at ETH Zurich in January 2020. Her research focuses on the study of human self-reactive T cells in immune-mediated neurological diseases, including Guillain Barré Syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis, with the overall goal to gain knowledge of basic aspects of human T cell biology in health and autoimmunity and then translate those findings into biomedical applications. During the past years, she has been also involved in activities the go beyond the scientific research itself. Since 2020, she has been engaging in the set-up and coordination of the Swiss Young Immunologists Society (SYIS) with the aim to promote scientific exchange, networking and visibility among early career researcher in Switzerland and in Europe.” Google scholar: https://scholar.google.ch/citations?user=26zLt2wAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Speaker: Dr. Danika Hill 

“Studying germinal centre responses to vaccines in humans”

Date: Thursday, Jan 27, 2022 at 10.00.

Talk coordinates:


Meeting ID: 653 0417 2967

Passcode: 736369

Bio: Danika Hill, Group Leader, Precision Vaccines Group Department of Immunology & Pathology, Monash University, Australia. “Danika Hill’s research is focussed on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin robust CD4+ T helper cell responses to vaccination and infection in humans. Danika has a particular interest in targeting T follicular helper cells to improve vaccine responses, measuring T cell receptor repertoire alterations after vaccination, and developing novel methods to identify antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. Danika studied Biomedical Science at the University of Adelaide, and completed a PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. From 2015, Danika was a Postdoc at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, working with Dr Michelle Linterman. She joined the Monash University Department of Immunology and Pathology, working with Professor David Tarlinton, in 2020. In 2020, she received the Michelson Prize from the Human Vaccines Project & Michelson Research Foundation funding for human immunology and vaccine research. Google scholar: https://scholar.google.ch/citationshl=en&user=b63CRhAAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate

Speaker: Prof Marcus Buggert

Resident and recirculating memory CD8+ T cells in health and viral disease”

Date: Thursday, Dec 9 2021, at 14.00.  

Talk coordinates:


Meeting ID: 675 2241 1462

Passcode: 727934

Bio: Marcus Buggert, Assistant Professor at the Center for Infections Medicine (CIM), Karolinska Institutet. “Marcus Buggert defended his PhD Thesis in 2014 at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden on the role of T cells in natural control of HIV infection. He then joined Dr. Michael Betts’ laboratory at University of Pennsylvania in 2014 for post-doctoral studies. During these studies, he pursued multiple projects including the first identification and characterization of resident and recirculating memory T cells in the context of HIV and other human viral infections. Since 2018, he is back in Sweden and joined the Center for Infection Medicine, Karolinska Institutet. The following year he got a centrally-funded faculty position (Assistant Professor) and became a group leader. His group focuses their work on studies of cell-mediated immunity to cancer and viral infections – including HIV and SARS-CoV-2.” Google scholar: https://scholar.google.ch/citations?user=4NbgQ1UAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Speaker: Prof Dr. Yana Safonova

‘High-throughput profiling of antibody repertoires enables large-scale analysis of adaptive immune responses’

Date: Thursday, Oct 7th, 2021 at 14.00.

Talk coordinates:

Meeting ID: 611 0983 1021

Passcode: 070059

Bio: Prof. Dr. Yana Safonova, is an Incoming Assistant Professor. Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University, USA.. “Currently, I am focusing on open problems in immunogenomics and computational immunology that include applications of the recently emerged immunosequencing technology (or repertoire sequencing) to design of antibody drugs, prediction of vaccine efficacy, and population analysis of the immune loci. Click here to learn more about the research projects.” Google scholar: https://scholar.google.ch/citations?hl=en&user=v1DsRLMAAAAJ

Speaker: Prof Dr. Tobias Lenz

Evolutionary genomics of an optimal adaptive immune response – Trade-offs between pathogen resistance and autoimmunity”

Date: Thursday, Sept 30, 2021

Bio: Prof. Dr. Tobias L. Lenz, is Head of Research Unit for Evolutionary Immunogenomics, Institute of Zoology, University of Hamburg, Heisenberg Professorship. “Our research investigates the evolutionary origin and consequences of functional genetic diversity in the context of health and disease. A particular focus of the group lies on the dynamics and trade-offs that govern successful antigen presentation and recognition in the adaptive immune system of vertebrates. We are exploring the complex interactions between the functional variability of antigen-presenting MHC molecules, the dynamics of the interacting T cell repertoire, and the antigen evolution in pathogens in order to improve our understanding of immune-mediated diseases in particular and the evolution of the adaptive immune system in general.” Google scholar: https://scholar.google.ch/citations?hl=en&user=-Tf6dCkAAAAJ

Speaker: Associate Prof Marco Donia, MD, PhD

Title: Cancer Immunotherapy: merging research and real world evidence

Date: Thursday, June 10, 14-15:00

Bio: Dr. Marco Donia is Clinician-Scientist (50% staff specialist and 50% junior research group leader), Center for Cancer Immune Therapy-CCIT, Department of Oncology, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Denmark and a Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. List of publications. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4966-9752. He is also a Lundbeck fellow  with a project to identify and study the effect of the substances that stimulate  cancer cells and to attempt to minimise their effect.

Speaker: Prof Susan Rooijakkers, MD, PhD

‘Antibodies against bacterial infections: from basic insights to therapies’

Date: Thursday, May 20, 14-15:00

Bio: Prof Suzan Rooijakkers is head of the Bacterial Infections and Immunity. Suzan Rooijakkers is full professor at the Department of Medical Microbiology at the University Medical Center in Utrecht. She is an expert in the field of Bacterial Infections and Immunity. During her PhD and postdocs, Rooijakkers played an important role in the discovery of bacterial immune escape mechanisms. She identified several molecules secreted by S. aureus to modulate human complement and neutrophils (Nature Immunology (2005 & 2009), patent (2006), Journal of Experimental Medicine (2007), PNAS (2014)). After completing a postdoc at UCSD San Diego (USA), Rooijakkers established an independent research group focused at understanding the molecular interplay between bacteria and the human immune system, with the ultimate aim to translate research findings into new strategies for treatment of infectious disease. Her current research group (8 PhD students, 3 Postdocs and 1 technician) mainly focuses on the following main themes: How the human immune system kills bacteria and Antibody therapies against bacteria.

Speaker: Jeremy Swann

‘Adaptive disarmament: the immunogenetics of deep-sea anglerfish’

Date: Thursday, Feb 25 at 14.00. 

[Bio: Dr. Swann obtained his PhD from the University of Melbourne under the supervision of Mark Smyth. He is a group leader at the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics  (Freiburg, Germany). His latest article is on The immunogenetics of sexual parasitism, https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6511/1608]

Speaker: Dr. Roger Geiger (https://www.geigerlab.org/)

‘Systems analyses of anti-tumor T cell responses’

Date: Thursday, Jan 28 at 14.00. 

[Bio: Dr. Geiger obtained his PhD from the ETH Zürich under the supervision of Ari Helenius. He received postdoctoral training in immunology with Antonio Lanzavecchia and in proteomics with Matthias Mann. Since 2017 Roger is an independent group leader at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, CH. His groups works mainly on T-cell metabolism. He was awarded an ERCStG in 2018. His latest article is on Dynamics in protein translation sustaining T cell preparedness, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41590-020-0714-5].

Speaker: María Casanova Acebes, PhD

‘Lineage tracing reveals the pro-tumorigenic niche role of tissue resident macrophages in early lung cancer lesions’

Date: Thursday, April 8 at 14.00

Dr. María Casanova Acebes is head of the Cancer Immunity Laboratory at www.cnio.es. She completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Miriam Merad. Here latest work has been published in Nature Communications: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15371-0RXRs control serous macrophage neonatal expansion and identity and contribute to ovarian cancer progression.