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Mirjam Roffel received NRS Travel Grant

Travel grants September 2019
Mirjam Roffel received NRS Travel Grant

I attended the International Conference of Mucosal Immunology 2019 in Brisbane. My PhD research focuses on the functional role of miRNAs that are differentially expressed in asthma and COPD patients compared to healthy controls. I am investigating the effect of miRNAs after exposures to environmental particles on the first line of defense, the airway epithelium and whether these miRNAs are able to prevent or suppress an immune response.      

The International Conference of Mucosal Immunology (ICMI) focused exclusively on the interface between the immune system and the environment at mucosal surfaces. There are a lot of similarities between mucosal surfaces of the gastrointestinal, urinogenital and respiratory tracts, also during this conference they made me aware that sharing knowledge and expertise between research fields is necessary to prevent or treat mucosal disease. This conference broaden my knowledge e.g. ‘Lung-gut cross-talk’ and ‘the interface between the microbiome and epithelium’. Furthermore, a hot topic during this conference was single cell analysis, combining single cell RNA sequencing with proteomics.

During the poster session, I presented my results and discussed them with scientists from other mucosal fields. This resulted in new strategies that may be useful in asthma. Furthermore, the several network session gave me the opportunity to expand my network and initiated new collaborations in international field of mucosal immunology. 

Receiving this travel grant from the NRS was an unique opportunity to present my data to the mucosal immunology field, expand my network and gain more insight in other mucosal diseases. Therefore, I would like to thank the NRS.

Mirjam Roffel, PhD student
Department of Pathology and Medical Biology
University Medical Center Groningen