- Rehwinkel Group: Nucleic Acid Sensing Research Group
I am a DPhil student working under the supervision of Prof Jan Rehwinkel. My research focuses on the interplay between the innate immune system and herpes viruses that infect humans. For an organism to be able to mount an immune response against any pathogen, recognition of infection is crucial. In the context of viral infections, the main molecular pattern that is recognized as foreign by the host organism is viral nucleic acids. Most human cells encompass multiple proteins and pathways that can trigger an immune response after sensing nucleic acids that are abnormal in regards to either their biochemical composition or sub-cellular localisation. I am investigating which cellular proteins recognize what kind of herpes virus derived nucleic acids during the viral replication cycle. Furthermore, I am looking at mechanism by which herpes viruses suppress nucleic acid recognition in order to evade antiviral immune responses. After receiving a Bachelor's degree in Molecular Medicine from the University of Göttingen in 2014, I obtained an MSc in Immunology from the University of Oxford in 2016. My general research interest can be summarised as host-pathogen interactions in the context of viral infections.