A guest blog post by Camille Kowalski, 2018 GRC Travel Award Winner
My name is Camille Kowalski, I am a Ph.D. Student at Geneva University Medical Center, Switzerland, under the supervision of Pr. Stéphanie Hugues. I received a travel award from LE&RN to attend the 20th International Vascular Biology Meeting (IVBM) in Helsinki, Finland.
Experience at IVBM
Thanks to the support of LE&RN, I had the opportunity to attend the 20th International Vascular Biology Meeting (IVBM) in Helsinki. I am just finishing the first year of my Ph.D., and it was my first international symposium. I was impressed by the presence of so many experts in vascular biology. It was a great chance for me to meet leaders in the field, exchange scientific expertise, and present my research with a poster presentation. It was an amazing experience, which enhanced my knowledge of the lymphatic field.
Current Research and Goals
In my laboratory, we are interested in how lymphatic endothelial cells impact immune responses in pathological situations, such as autoimmunity and cancer. In lymph nodes, lymphatic endothelial cells were known to be essential to the structure and function of the lymph nodes but they recently emerged as important players in immunity, notably through the immunomodulation of T cell responses. Using transgenic mice, we are interested in the antigen presentation by lymphatic endothelial cells and its possible impact on peripheral self-reactive T cell responses in the development of autoimmune disease.
My first objective is to finish my Ph.D. in Geneva, trying to understand the implication of lymphatic endothelial cells in autoimmune diseases. Then I would like to find a post-doctoral position in a lab interested in both immunity and lymphatics. I believe that maybe one day we will contribute to the elaboration of therapies targeting lymphatics to fight against autoimmune diseases
Lymphatic vessels are present throughout the body and allow the drainage of lymphocytes and interstitial components. As they act as a reservoir, draining foreign molecules to the lymph nodes where immune responses can occur. As lymphatics emerge as an important player in various human diseases, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, obesity, and inflammation, I believe that lymphatic research will grow in visibility.