Research Grant Awardees 2007
Lemonica Johanna Koumbi
born 1978 in Graz, Austria; MSc in Human Molecular Genetics, PhD student at the 2nd Department of Paediatrics, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
Evaluation of the innate and adaptive responses against HBV in neonates born to chronic HBV carrier mothers
The main research interest of Lemonica Koumbi is on the neonatal viral immune responses, in particular against hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The aim of her PhD project is to determine whether non-infected infants born to hepatitis B carrier mothers (HBeAg-negative) have encountered hepatitis B virus (HBV) intra-utero or perinatally and to investigate the ability of these neonates to mount T cell specific responses against HBV antigens. Her research focus is on the role of antigen presentation in this context. After completion of her PhD studies she intends to continue investigating dendritic cells, the main antigen presenting cells, and to explore their potential role in preventing paediatric infectious diseases.