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.
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.
Dendritic Cells and Monocytes with Distinct Inflammatory Responses Reside in Lung Mucosa of Healthy Humans.
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.
J. Immunol. 2015 May;194(9):4422-30
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 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