Heleen Vroman received NRS Travel Grant
Thanks to the NRS young investigators travel grant, I was able to visit the International Congress of Immunology (ICI2016) in Melbourne, Australia in August. During this conference I presented my work on how A20 levels in dendritic cells induce Th17-mediated neutrophilic severe asthma.
Attending this conference gave me insight into the recent progresses in the field of immunology, which for me as a fourth-year PhD-student learned me where future possibilities lie within my own research field. For instance, Ido Amit showed new research techniques by which he could perform RNA-sequencing on individual cells. This revealed, that innate lymphoid cells that we currently subdivided into 3 different subsets (ILC1s, ILC2s and ILC3s) is really an oversimplification. Within the original ILC2 subset for instance, 4 different phenotypes can be distinguished. These type of techniques could also be applied to other cells, enabling us to better characterize all the different cell types. Also, Ron Germain presented a method by which he is able to stain with flow cytometry either whole lymph nodes, but also lungs with 15 different colors. Thereby he revealed that CD11b+ DCs and CD103+ DCs that respectively are responsible for the differentiation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are located in different sites of the lymph node, which corresponds to the location of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. This indicates that it is not the intrinsic capacity of either CD11b+ DCs or CD103+ DCs that determines their superiority of priming respectively CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, but rather their location.
These new insights in the field of immunology provided me with more refined ideas where to focus my future research as when starting as a Post-Doc. Therefore, I would like to thank the NRS young investigators committee for rewarding my travel grant application and given me the opportunity to attend this interesting meeting.