New Post Doctoral Fellows Join ADARC
|Grazia Abou Ezzi, PhD|
Grazia Abou Ezzi, PhD
Grazia Abou Ezzi, PhD, who recently joined Dr. Moriya Tsuji's
laboratory at ADARC, came to New York to follow a passion that grabbed
her while still in high school, when a teacher explained in simple way
the role of dendritic cells. "Once I learned about their major role in
modulating and orchestrating the immune response, I became obsessed,"
Dr. Abou Ezzi says.
native of Lebanon, Dr. Abou Ezzi studied Biochemistry at Holy Spirit
University of Kaslik, then moved to France for two Master's degrees
(Genetic, Development and Immunology) and PhD in Microbiology and
Immunology. Her studies focused on Osteoimmunology, particularly
"Immunology of dendritic cells and monocytes in the bone marrow."
Abou Ezzi's obsession with the immune system will serve her well at
ADARC. She was happy to join Dr. Tsuji's team, who has been working on
developing a humanized mouse model by injecting human hematopoietic stem
cells into immune-deficient mice. Some of the questions that can be
explored using this model include how the bone marrow can keep
reservoirs of latent HIV-infected CD4 T-cells for a long period of time,
even when a patient is under treatment. "The dendritic cells/monocytes
residing in the human bone marrow may play a role in protecting both our
own cells and enemies such as HIV and other viruses, and cancer cells
from the rest of host immunity," said Dr. Abou Ezzi.
|Nina Gnädig, PhD|
Nina Gnädig, PhD, who recently joined Dr. Theodora Hatziioannou's
laboratory as a post doctoral fellow, became interested in viruses as
an undergraduate because of the way they are able to escape the human
immune system's defenses. Though her work did not focus on HIV/AIDS at
first, she changed directions because of the challenge that the epidemic
still poses even after decades of research "HIV is a very specific
threat to mankind. The virus is still a major health care problem, and
we need to come up with more innovative strategies to prevent infection
and transmission," she said.
grew up in Munich, Germany, and studied Biology in Berlin and Paris.
After getting her Master's degree in Virology, she received her PhD from
the Pasteur Institute, where she focused on small RNA viruses (Polio
and Coxsackie), studying their in vivo evolution during infection.
ADARC, Dr. Gnädig will be able to contribute directly to the effort to
find new techniques to prevent HIV infection. "When I read about
Theodora Hatziioannou's project to develop an animal model for HIV
infection to be able to test HIV vaccines and prevention strategies, I
felt that this will be very useful for future research on this virus,"
Dr. Gnädig said. She is now trying to optimize HIV-1 genomes so they
will be able to infect pigtail and rhesus macaques and mimic key
features of human HIV infection in those animals.
You can support Dr. Abou Ezzi and Dr. Gnädig's work by making a donation to ADARC.