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About me

A young and enthusiastic female researcher from Singapore.


PhD in Medical Science at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012-2016. Supervisors: Anna Smed Sörensen, Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam, Ira Mellman (Genentech). Research project: Human dendritic cells in blood and airways during respiratory viral infection.

Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2008-2011. First class honours. Accelerated Bachelor's Programme. Student exchange program at Linköping University, Sweden. Dean's list top 5% 2008/2009, 2011/2012. Funded by Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR) pre-graduate scholarship award.

Research description

During my PhD, I have focused on human dendritic cells (DCs), gatekeepers of our immune system, and their role in respiratory viral infections. The thesis comprises of two in vitro studies investigating how influenza virus traffics in DCs, and how maturation of DCs affects their susceptibility to influenza infection. Additionally, two ex vivo studies were performed on healthy subjects and hantavirus-infected patients who have undergone bronchoscopies, in order to characterise monocytes and DCs in the respiratory tract. Together, the findings in my thesis highlight the differences between monocyte-derived and bona-fide DCs, as well as between blood and lung DCs in humans. This conclusion is timely as the field of DC immunology is shifting towards translating important findings in mice to humans, and also moving from human blood DCs to tissue DCs. Within our research group, this has allowed us to further investigate the role of DCs in the context of respiratory viral infections, including hantavirus, where we observed an infiltration of DCs in the lungs of patients at the peak of viral load, illustrating an important role of DCs in clearance of the virus. 

Faezzah's PhD thesis

Dendritic Cells and Monocytes with Distinct Inflammatory Responses Reside in Lung Mucosa of Healthy Humans.
Baharom F, Thomas S, Rankin G, Lepzien R, Pourazar J, Behndig A, et al
J. Immunol. 2016 Jun;196(11):4498-509

Protection of human myeloid dendritic cell subsets against influenza A virus infection is differentially regulated upon TLR stimulation.
Baharom F, Thomas S, Bieder A, Hellmér M, Volz J, Sandgren K, et al
J. Immunol. 2015 May;194(9):4422-30

Teaching portfolio

Supervisor of Hannah Lindén, Rays summer research academy student, Sweden  

Supervisor of Oliver Thomas, MSc student at Freiburg University, Germany

Supervisor of Rico Lepzien, MSc student at Göttingen University, Germany

Supervisor of Julia Volz, MSc student at Heidelberg University, Germany

Academic honors, awards and prizes

Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska Institutet partial funding for PhD education following a competitive open call, 2012 – 2016

Heart & Lung Foundation travel grant (SEK 18 000), 2015, 2016

Erik & Edith Fernström Foundation for Medical Research (SEK 60 000), 2015

Karolinska Institutet Foundation for Virus Research (SEK 26 500), 2015

Karolinska Institutet travel grant (SEK 19 000), 2014, 2016

Swedish Society for Virology travel grant (SEK 4 000), 2013

Swedish Society of Medicine travel grant (SEK 18 000), 2013, 2016 


Nanyang Technological University

Mendaki Excellence Award, top 9 Malay graduate in Singapore, 2012

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Pre-graduate award for undergraduate education, 2010 – 2011

Accelerated Bachelor’s Programme, 2008 – 2012

Dean’s list, top 5% of students at School of Biological Sciences, 2008 – 2012 

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