I am a second year DPhil student in the group of Dr. Jelena Bezbradica Mirkovic with a strong interest in innate immunology and signaling pathways of myeloid cells. After receiving my B.Sc. in Molecular Biomedicine and my M.Sc. in Immunobiology from the University of Bonn, I started my DPhil at the Kennedy Institute in October 2019, funded by a Kennedy Trust Prize Studentship.
During my Bachelor and my Master studies I had the opportunity to gain first insights into innate immunity and inflammasome research in the laboratories of Eicke Latz and Bernardo Franklin which sparked my interest in that topic and motivated me to further pursue that research. I also had the chance to do multiple internships abroad, such as my master thesis in the laboratory of Hidde Ploegh in Boston and one lab rotation at the Kennedy Institute during which I got very excited for the research that is being conducted at the Kennedy Institute.
In our research we currently focus on the NLRP3 inflammasome, which serves as a key inflammatory platform in response to signals originating from microbes, as well as damage-associated signals. Since NLRP3 activation leads to a lytic cell death termed pyroptosis, its activation has to be tightly regulated. My DPhil project aims to understand which regulatory processes are present in myeloid cells and how these keep the balance between inhibition & activation of NLRP3 on a molecular level.