Thanks to the amazing Wadschma Naderi (with support from Maxime Quebatte and Petra Chiquet), we are finally up and running in the BSL3. I really cannot understate what a tremendous job Wadschma has done, pioneering this Mtb infection model for the lab. The first data are in...
A quick bit of good news - our grant, DEBATE (Deciphering the role of B cells and antibodies during tuberculosis) was positively reviewed by the ERC Council. This was a major team effort - thanks especially to David Schreiner, Clemens Hermann and Nivedya Swarnalekha - my dream team - for all their help with writing, thinking, experimenting and generally pulling it together in April 2021. It was worth it. Thanks also to the reviewers - for taking a chance on me/us. And now we move on - lots of exciting stuff coming up.
PS people interested in doctoral work or postdocs - we have open positions! I'd love to hear what you're interested in and how our lab might be a good fit for you!
Welcome to two new graduate students: Wadschma Naderi and Nikos Pantouloufos. Wadschma will be studying B cell responses to mycobacteria infection while Nikos will expand on the macrophage work started by Mara and Maike. We are glad they could join us before Nivedya leaves in January to start a postdoctoral fellowsihp at Roche as part of immunology incubator with Nicolas Gagliani. This caps off an amazing year for Nivedya with a hard earned publication, successful PhD defense, postdoctoral fellowship award from the University and now a new job!!! Meanwhile, some other stuff is percolating; look forward to sharing our good news soon!
new lab members
We are slowly making "real" on our commitment to understanding the humoral response to TB infection, most recently by joining CTVD's B cells and antibody community (https://www.ctvd.co/Pages/default.aspx). And just in time - the annual meeting was held online on June 15/16. It's wonderful to be connected to so many outstanding scientists who are dedicated to promoting open and collaborative TB research.
Since March we have welcomed two new masters students - Mara Esposito and Namitha Putananickal. They are both studying MACROPHAGES!!!!!!! Mara is investigating pulmonary macrophage heterogeneity following mycobacteria infection and Namitha is studying how monoclonal antibodies to surface antigens on Mtb differential impact bacterial uptake and growth in alveolar versus bone marrow derived macrophages. Macrophages = new territory for the lab and we are learning a lot.
Clemens was awarded a competitive Marie Skłodowska-Curie award to study humoral immunity during BCG vaccination in humans and mice and is already well underway with the IMCB lab's team #tuberculosis.
Despite the craziness that continues in the US, 2021 is off to a pretty good start: we received some essential funding from the Helmut Horten foundation and our influenza/CD4 Trm story is officially published. Meanwhile, we are anticipating the arrival of Jean de Lima (Brazil) and Maike Erber (Germany) in the next few weeks, along with two new masters students who will work on macrophages and mycobacteria! I love how multinational academic labs are. With so much turnover, there will be a bit of 'down time' for the IMCB lab but we are revving up again!
Happy new year to anyone who reads this!
Most importantly, we are all healthy and relatively happy (I think!). I'm super grateful to my team for making the IMCB lab the brilliant place it's meant to be - I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to 'science' with.