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Niki Ubags received NRS Travel Grant (1)

Travel grants July 2014

Niki Ubags, MSc

Department Respiratory Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre
Maastricht University Medical Centre

The second International Neutrophil Symposium was held in Montreal, Canada, and hosted a wide variety of international speakers. The focus of the International Neutrophil Symposium was to bring together basic and clinician scientists, as well as graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, whom investigate neutrophil biology or related fields to discuss recent discoveries and exchange ideas as well as novel avenues of future investigation in neutrophil biology.

During this symposium I presented our work on how the association of obesity and elevated risk of respiratory infection may be driven by high circulating leptin levels and how this association may be related to hyperleptinemia’s effect on the pulmonary neutrophil response. In my research project we now aim to further investigate the effects of leptin and its signaling cascades on both neutrophil development and neutrophil function in pulmonary inflammation. The International Neutrophil symposium was very helpful to gain more insight in regulatory mechanisms of neutrophils and their specific role in inflammation and immunity in a variety of diseases, not exclusively in the lung. Furthermore, a session on neutrophil functional responses was an excellent opportunity to learn about reverse neutrophil migration and how diverse mediators can contribute to neutrophil mediated antimicrobial resistance, which may be of great interest for respiratory research. 

In conclusion, my knowledge on neutrophil biology and its applications has increased tremendously by attending the International Neutrophil Symposium, which has led to new insights and ideas for my PhD project.