NSI Rising Stars

NSI Rising Stars in Immunology Seminar Series

Initiated in 2021, the NSI Rising Stars in Immunology Seminar Series invites world-leading young PIs from all over the world working in the field of immunology to present their research to NSI members. 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

May 2024

Speaker: Natalia Pikor
Title: Multi-tier coordination of antiviral immunity by fibroblasts
Time and date: Wednesday, May 29 at 13:00
Connection details: https://uio.zoom.us/j/64840271157?pwd=ZzhtTWFjRnkwNFplMEdGZHIyUTF0UT09
Meeting ID: 648 4027 1157
Passcode: 030216

Talk abstract:
Fibroblastic reticular cells play a pivotal role in initiating adaptive immune responses, in part by compartmentalizing B cell and T cell zones within lymphoid organs. We have previously shown that B cell zone fibroblastic reticular cells (BRCs) provide unique niche factors that steer the interaction of B cells with helper T cells and antigen, thereby driving optimal affinity maturation and diversification of the B cell repertoire. Notably, the molecular identity of unique BRC subsets is sustained through maturation factors provided by locally recruited leukocytes, positively reinforcing the spatial-temporal choreography of lymphocyte priming within defined niches. The central role played by BRCs in orchestrating humoral immunity led us to investigate the involvement of fibroblasts in steering immune surveillance by memory cells. Our results indicate that fibroblasts coordinate antiviral immunity from initial priming in lymphoid organs to memory surveillance of inflamed tissues.

More information about Natalia Pikor:
Natalia Pikor received her PhD in Immunology at the University of Toronto in Canada working in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Jennifer Gommerman. She then completed her post-doctoral training in the lab of Prof. Dr. Burkhard Ludewig in St. Gallen, Switzerland, working on lymph node B cell zone fibroblasts. In 2019, Natalia became a group leader of neuroimmunology at the Medical Research Center at the Cantonal Hospital in St. Gallen, and received a dual appointment with the Department of Biology at the ETH Zurich in 2023. Her research group continues to examine the role of fibroblasts in steering efficient immune responses both within secondary lymphoid organs and in neuroinflammatory conditions.  
Google scholarhttps://scholar.google.com/citations?user=892aEkcAAAAJ&hl=en

Key papers
1. Integration of Th17- and Lymphotoxin-Derived Signals Initiates Meningeal-Resident Stromal Cell Remodeling to Propagate Neuroinflammation.
2. Remodeling of light and dark zone follicular dendritic cells governs germinal center responses.
3. Conserved stromal–immune cell circuits secure B cell homeostasis and function.

February 2024

Speaker: Lola Fernández Messina
Title: Lessons from extracellular vesicle-shuttled miRNAs as immune modulators: from basics to clinics
Time and date: Thursday, February 29 at 11:00
Connection details: https://uio.zoom.us/j/61385988839?pwd=R3NDT08yTlpQVVNRYXFCWWRPYTlpQT09
Meeting ID: 613 8598 8839
Passcode: 359829

Talk abstract:
Intercellular communication is essential to orchestrate effective immune responses against pathogens or cancer. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are potent immune regulators, as they carry bioactive molecules, including miRNAs that act as master regulators of gene expression in homeostasis and disease. Our recent work has evidenced that EV transferred miRNAs control important immune functions, such as germinal centre and antibody production during immune synapsis or polarization of effector T cell responses. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying this regulation may pave the way for the design of miRNA-based strategies for restoring miRNA levels for therapy.

More information about Lola Fernández Messina:
Lola Fernández Messina obtained her PhD at the University of Cambridge in July 2011, before moving to Madrid to pursue her postdoctoral research. During this period, she focused on the biology and regulation of cytotoxic lymphocytes in the context of cancer and health. In 2015, she obtained a Juan de la Cierva contract under the mentoring of Prof. Francisco Sánchez Madrid, internationally renowned for his contributions to the study of lymphocyte cellular biology and immune response development. Since then, she followed her current research line, focusing on the immunomodulatory roles of microRNAs mediated by extracellular vesicles, persuading that a better understanding of these mechanisms may pave the way for the development of new therapies. Since October 2018, she has served as an Associate Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid in the Department of Cellular Biology within the Faculty of Biological Sciences, where she became a full-time researcher in May 2022. Since then, she is an emerging PI, dedicated to the study of immunoregulatory microRNAs for therapeutics.
Google scholarhttps://scholar.google.com/citations?user=892aEkcAAAAJ&hl=en

Key papers
1. Natural killer (NK) cell-derived extracellular-vesicle shuttled microRNAs control T cell responses.
2. Transfer of extracellular vesicle-microRNA controls germinal center reaction and antibody production.

January 2024

Speaker: Kevin Ng
Title: Antibody responses to infection and cancer
Time and date: Tuesday, January 16 at 14:00
Connection details: https://uio.zoom.us/j/67970971777?pwd=cEZzYm5xNzhrTHM1WDdpYmV4aFNYdz09
Meeting ID: 679 7097 1777
Passcode: 925628

Talk abstract:
B cells are unique in their capacity to evolve their receptors and are thus ideally suited to combat evolvingantigenic targets. This can arise upon rechallenge with related pathogens, as in the case of repeated coronavirus infection, or with antigens that evolve in vivo as in the case of tumours. By testing human serum samples collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we demonstrated that antibodies elicited by common cold coronaviruses could bind and neutralise SARS-CoV-2 and were particularly prevalent in children. By mappingthese antibodies to the conserved S2 region, we demonstrated that S2 vaccination could elicit broadly neutralising antibodies and better protection in vivo following infection with SARS-CoV-2 variants. In human and mouse models of lung cancer, we found that tumour-adjacent tertiary lymphoid structures contained germinal centres and produced class-switched, mutated tumour-binding antibodies that were protective in vivo. These antibodies were boosted upon checkpoint blockade and could predict immunotherapy outcome in human patients. Together, our work provides insights into B cell responses to immunosubdominant and/or partially tolerized antigens, with implications for vaccine development against viruses and tumours.

More information about Kevin Ng:
Kevin obtained his BSc in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where his research in Wan Lam’s lab focused on the immune microenvironment of human lung cancer. He did his PhD with George Kassiotis at the Francis Crick Institute in London, UK, where he studied the role of endogenous retroelements in cancer immunotherapy. During this time, he also studied the antibody response to coronaviruses in humans and in pre-clinical mouse models. He is currently a Schmidt Science Fellow at Rockefeller University in New York, USA, where he is studying germinal centre B cell responses to the gut microbiota in Gabriel Victora’s lab.
Google scholarhttps://scholar.google.com/citations?user=wvdyj8EAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Key papers
1. Antibodies against endogenous retroviruses promote lung cancer immunotherapy
2. SARS-CoV-2 S2–targeted vaccination elicits broadly neutralizing antibodies

December 2023

Speaker: Ben Krause-Kyora
Title: Changes in the European HLA allele pool over the last 7000 years – insights from ancient DNA/From the Stone Age to today – disease, epidemics and the emergence of genetic variants for chronic inflammatory diseases
Time and date: Tuesday, December 12 at 14:00
Connection details: https://uio.zoom.us/j/68200018852?pwd=bisvZ2NkOTNENTNRTUt6VjA3WmlpZz09
Meeting ID: 682 0001 8852
Passcode: 5924

More information about Ben Krause-Kyora:
Ben is a W2 Professor for Ancient DNA Analysis at the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, CAU Kiel. He’s a biochemist and archaeologist with a background in studying human development at a molecular level. Over the past 10,000 years, humankind has maintained continuous interaction with the environment, encountering pathogens, and relying on the exploitation of food sources influenced by landscape, climate, and lifestyle. Ben’s primary research focus revolves around exploring how pathogens, nutritional changes, and subsistence strategies have influenced the human genome over the millennia. The evolutionary processes underlying these phenomena also hold significant implications for contemporary disease genetics, particularly in civilization and inflammatory diseases. Ben addresses these research questions through the application of ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. The integration of aDNA and genomic methodologies has significantly advanced the entire research field, enabling the observation of molecular evolutionary changes over time. Ben serves as the head of the Kiel aDNA Laboratory, established in 2008. He has pioneered capture and sequencing technologies that enhance the sensitivity of aDNA studies, resulting in more reliable outcomes. Genomic analyses can now be conducted on minute quantities of highly degraded DNA.
Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=-KzFwfkAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Key papers
1. Ancient DNA study reveals HLA susceptibility locus for leprosy in medieval Europeans
2. 5,000-year-old hunter-gatherer already plagued by Yersinia pestis

October 2023

Speaker: Kaiwen Chen
Title: Cell death and inflammation during bacterial infection
Time and date: Tuesday, October 31 at 14:00
Connection details: https://uio.zoom.us/j/8485434759?pwd=MTJLdHhQd2JyRHIzMTBtMk5kQWdMZz09
Meeting ID: 848 543 4759
Passcode: 933532

More information about Kaiwen Chen:
Myeloid cells such as macrophages and neutrophils express a repertoire of pattern recognition receptors to protect against microbial invasion, however, dysregulation in these pathways are increasingly recognised to drive autoinflammatory diseases. Dr. Chen’s laboratory studies the mechanisms by which inflammation is initiated and terminated by the innate immune system. A major interest of the lab is to understand how various programmed cell death pathways including apoptosis, pyroptosis and necroptosis are initiated during microbial infection and consequently how these death pathways promote host immunity in vivo. 
Webpage: https://medicine.nus.edu.sg/mbio/about-us/our-people/academic-staff/chen-kaiwen.html
Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?hl=en&user=7Xl-oMAAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate

Key papers
1. RIPK1 activates distinct gasdermins in macrophages and neutrophils upon pathogen blockade of innate immune signalling
2. Extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis activate Pannexin-1 to drive NLRP3 inflammasome assembly

September 2023

Speaker: Maik Luu
Title: Joint Forces – Synergizing Microbial Metabolites and Cellular Immunotherapy for the treatment of malignant and non-malignant diseases
Time and date: Tuesday, September 12 at 14:00
Connection details: https://uio.zoom.us/j/8485434759?pwd=MTJLdHhQd2JyRHIzMTBtMk5kQWdMZz09
Meeting ID: 848 543 4759
Passcode: 933532

More information about Maik Luu:
The Luu lab investigates the impact of microbiome-derived metabolites on host immunity, specifically their role as soluble effector molecules. The research is focused on uncovering their underlying modes of action, including metabolic, epigenetic, and signaling influences, with the aim of improving the efficacy of cellular immunotherapies for both malignant and non-malignant diseases. Recently, Dr. Luu’s team elucidated how microbial metabolites can be harnessed to enhance the antitumor activity of antigen-specific CD8 T cells against solid tumors.
Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=l-5t9awAAAAJ&hl=de

Key papers
1. Transcription factor c-Rel is indispensable for generation of thymic but not of peripheral Foxp3+ regulatory T cells
2. The short-chain fatty acid pentanoate suppresses autoimmunity by modulating the metabolic-epigenetic crosstalk in lymphocytes
3. Pro- and Antitumorigenic Capacity of Immunoproteasomes in Shaping the Tumor Microenvironment
4. Microbial short-chain fatty acids modulate CD8+ T cell responses and improve adoptive immunotherapy for cancer
5. Siglec-6 is a novel target for CAR T-cell therapy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

August 2023

Speaker: Helene Knævelsrud
Title: Exploring the human leukemic oncogene MLL-AF4 in the fruit fly blood system and fat tissue
Time and date: Tuesday, 29th August 2023, at 14:00
Connection details: https://uio.zoom.us/j/69535351721?pwd=N0VwcVhoWFdBMmlRSTNyRW5oUG83Zz09
Meeting ID: 695 3535 1721
Passcode: 028673

More information about Helene: 
Dr. Helene Knævelsrud leads the research group “Cell stress and Cancer” as associate professor at Institute for Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo. The group is focused on two main goals:
1) to understand how autophagy is switched off in vivo and
2) to unravel mechanisms of autophagy involvement in cancer biology For this the group is using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism for hematopoiesis and leukemia.

Dr. Knævelsrud graduated in Cellular Biochemistry from ETH Zürich and obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from the University in Oslo. Under the supervision of Professor Anne Simonsen she studied the role of lipid-binding proteins in autophagy. During a research visit to Professor Tom Neufeld’s lab at the University of Minnesota, she fell in love with fruit flies. Therefore, she pursued postdoctoral research in the lab of Professor Marc Therrien at Université de Montréal working on small GTPases in hematopoietic development, using Drosophila as a model organism. In 2015 Dr. Knævelsrud joined the lab of Professor Jorrit Enserink with her project on a fly leukemia model. She established her own project group in 2020 to work on autophagy termination in physiology and in cancer, especially in renal cell carcinoma. She is leader of AUTORHYTHM, an interdisciplinary environment at the University of Oslo aimed at understanding the role of autophagy in healthy aging. In 2022 Dr. Knævelsrud was awarded an ERC Starting Grant to study how autophagy is turned off and how this is orchestrated at the organism-level and in 2023 she started at Associate Professor at University of Oslo. Dr. Knævelsrud has written regularly in national newspapers and presented at multiple popular science fairs. She is an NCMM Young Investigator and elected member of the Young Academy of Norway.

Key Papers:

  1. Johannessen, J.A., Formica, M., Bråthen, N.R., Al Outa, A., Enserink, J.M. and Knævelsrud, H.* The human leukemic oncogene MLL-AF4 promotes hyperplastic growth of hematopoietic tissues in Drosophila larvae bioRxiv 2022.11.08.515565; https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.11.08.515565 In revision in iScience August 2023
  2. Formica M, Storaci AM, Bertolini I, Carminati F, Knævelsrud H, Vaira V, Vaccari T. (2021) V-ATPase controls tumor growth and autophagy in a Drosophila model of gliomagenesis. Autophagy. May 12:1-11.
  3. Baril, C., Gavoy, G., Bidla, G., Knævelsrud H., Sauvageau, G., Therrien, M. (2017) Human NUP98-HOXA9 promotes hyperplastic growth of hematopoietic tissues in Drosophila. Dev Biol. 421(1):16-26

June 2023

Speaker: Janine Melson

Title: A multicolor map of NK and T cell diversity: from bulk to single-cell

Time and date: Tuesday, 20th June 2023, at 14:00

Connection details: https://uio.zoom.us/j/64034045614?pwd=NGxyZ01IeVlQeENBRE9tZWdndldSZz09

Meeting ID: 640 3404 5614
Passcode: 226840

More information about Janine:
Dr. Janine Melsen is a post-doctoral researcher at the department of Immunology, and Willem-Alexander Children’s Hospital at the Leiden University Medical Center, in the Netherlands. Although she is a biomedical scientist by training, she acquired bioinformatic skills during her PhD and considers herself now both as wet lab and dry lab scientist. Her PhD project focused on unraveling the function and development of human tissue-resident NK cells, in relation to circulating NK cells, using bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing, and (spectral) flow cytometry. To uncover the cellular heterogeneity, she wrote a workflow to analyze flow cytometry data at the single-cell level. Using this workflow, she simultaneously studied the T cell phenotype and receptor diversity of the first European hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipient revealing clonal T cell expansions, persisting for more than a decade. Her current research focuses on human NK cell development in thymus and tonsil. She recently visited the lab of Emily Mace In New York (Columbia University) where she mastered the technique of cyclic immunofluorescence to study the spatial organization of NK developmental niches.

Key papers:

  • Melsen JE, van Ostaijen-Ten Dam MM, Schoorl DJA, Schol PJ, van den Homberg DAL, Lankester AC, Lugthart G, Schilham MW. Single-cell transcriptomics in bone marrow delineates CD56dimGranzymeK+ subset as intermediate stage in NK cell differentiation. Front Immunol. 2022 Nov 24;13:1044398. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36505452/
  • Melsen JE, van Ostaijen-Ten Dam MM, van den Akker EB, Welters MJP, Heezen KC, Pico-Knijnenburg I, Kolijn PM, Bredius RGM, van Doorn R, Langerak AW, Schilham MW, Lankester AC. T and NK Cells in IL2RG-Deficient Patient 50 Years After Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. J Clin Immunol. 2022 Aug;42(6):1205-1222. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35527320/
  • Melsen JE, van Ostaijen-Ten Dam MM, Lankester AC, Schilham MW, van den Akker EB. A Comprehensive Workflow for Applying Single-Cell Clustering and Pseudotime Analysis to Flow Cytometry Data. J Immunol. 2020 Aug 1;205(3):864-871. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32591399/

May 2023

Speaker: Saba Ghassemi

Title: Non-Activated CAR T Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

Time and date: Tuesday, 2nd May 2023, at 14:00

Connection details: https://uio.zoom.us/j/67567030388?pwd=MWpyOXdVTE1GTWg4UWpvdjhxRUxIdz09

Meeting ID: 675 6703 0388
Passcode: 857403

More information about Saba:

Dr. Saba Ghassemi is an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a Principal Investigator at the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies. Her research focuses on optimizing CAR T cells for adoptive immunotherapy, using a multidisciplinary approach that combines engineering with CAR T cell immunology to develop potent CAR T cells. Dr. Ghassemi was the first to develop an abbreviated culture paradigm, leading to less differentiated progeny with improved potency in xenograft models of ALL, which resulted in a successful clinical trial at UPenn using a 3-day manufacturing process. She employs advanced techniques to abbreviate the ex vivo CAR T cell culture process to less than 24 hours. Dr. Ghassemi’s work has been recognized through several research grants and patent applications to improve CAR T cells’ efficacy, expansion, and fitness for adoptive immunotherapy. Dr. Ghassemi’s ongoing research endeavors involve optimizing, streamlining, and automating the manufacturing process of CAR T cells, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the translational applicability and accessibility of these novel therapies to a wider range of geographical locations and patient populations.

Key papers:

Rapid manufacturing of non-activated potent CAR T cells
S Ghassemi, JS Durgin, S Nunez-Cruz, J Patel, J Leferovich, M Pinzone, …
Nature biomedical engineering 6 (2), 118-128

395 Engineering non-activated CAR T cells with enhanced potency against advanced cancers
S Ghassemi, J Durgin, F Bushman, S Gill, R O’Connor, M Milone
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 10 (Suppl 2)

Enhancing chimeric antigen receptor T cell anti-tumor function through advanced media design
S Ghassemi, FJ Martinez-Becerra, AM Master, SA Richman, D Heo, …
Molecular Therapy-Methods & Clinical Development 18, 595-606

April 2023

Speaker: Aleksandar Antanasijevic, EPFL, CH

Title: Antibody responses visualized by electron microscopy: Structure, sequence and beyond…

Time and date: Tuesday, 4th April 2023, at 14:00. 

Connection details:

Meeting ID: 616 2156 6954
Passcode: 805273

More information about Aleksandar:
Bio: Aleksandar Antanasijevic is a biochemist by training, with a strong research background in structural biology and its application to virus and vaccine research. He completed his PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the lab of Michael Caffrey, where he first got exposed to methods like nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray crystallography. Following a postdoc in Andrew Ward’s lab at the Scripps Research Institute, where he specialized in electron microscopy, he moved to EPFL to start his own research group. In his new lab, he seeks to establish a multi-component research program to aid structure-guided vaccine design efforts in different fields using electron microscopy as the primary tool.

Key Papers:

Mars 2023

Speaker: Encarnita Mariotti-Ferrandiz Sorbonne Université, Paris, France

Title: Low-dose IL2 restores Treg antigen-specific TCR repertoire in mice and autoimmune disease patients

Time and date: Wednesday, 22nd March 2023, at 14:00. 

Connection details:

Meeting ID: 641 5607 6300

Passcode: 956591

More information about Encarnita:

Bio: Encarnita Mariotti-Ferrandiz is Associate Professor in Immunology at Sorbonne Université and a senior member of the fundamental chair at Institut Universitaire de France, working as PI in the immunology-immunopathology-immunotherapy (i3) lab, located at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, in Paris. Her research focuses on i) deciphering the Adaptive Immune Receptor Repertoire (AIRR) diversity in health and pathology with a major focus on T-cell biology and ii) developing a systems immunology approach to better characterize the immune system in disease by coordinating the integration of multi-scale biological (deep cell phenotype, transcriptome, adaptome, microbiome) and clinical information. From sample to statistical modelling, she is interested in (i) refining T cell differentiation and selection knowledge in health and disease and (ii) identifying uni-modal and multi-modal biomarkers of diseases. Her main field of research in immunology focus on the study of autoimmune in inflammatory diseases. She is involved in national projects (Transimmunom LabEx, iMAPRHU) as well as PI in international collaborative projects (AIR-MI and iReceptorPlus). More details on her publications and projects here. As Associate-Professor, she created and launched in 2019 thefirst “Integrative and systems Immunology” Master 2 curriculum at Sorbonne Université, with the aim to promote systems immunology as a whole, including AIRR field.

Key Papers:

February 2023

Speaker: Paul Bastard Necker Hospital for Sick Children, Paris, France

Title: Genetic and auto-immune predisposition to life-threatening COVID-19

Time and date: Tuesday, 21st Feb 2023, at 14:00. 

Teams link (click the link even though it is in Norwegian):
Klikk her for å bli med i møtet

Meeting-ID: 374 766 685 678
Pass-word: Z6u5Ef

Bio: Paul Bastard, MD-PhD, is currently working as a fellow in the Pediatric Hematology and Immunology department of Necker Hospital for Sick Children (AP-HP, Paris, France), while also doing research in the Necker branch of the laboratory of Jean-Laurent Casanova, which is located at the Imagine Institute (University of Paris and INSERM) and the Rockefeller University (New York, USA). His research focuses on the genetic and immunological determinants of severe viral diseases, including the causes and consequences of auto-antibodies against type I interferons.

Prize: https://www.institutimagine.org/en/paul-bastard-laureate-michelson-philanthropies-science-prize-immunology-1325

Key papers:


Inborn errors of type I IFN immunity in patients with life-threatening COVID-19 – PubMed (nih.gov)


January 2023

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

Title: 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:


2022 seminars

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.