BY SINDUYA KRISHNARAJAH
Almost 5 years ago to the day, I landed in Zurich for a week of interviews with fellow Life Scientists hunting for PhD positions. I checked onto the return flight with a wide grin that I couldn’t wipe off my face for several days; an outward display of the mix of excitement and anticipation I was feeling as I’d secured a position at the University of Zurich. Fast-forward to the present: I now have an extra degree, a pocketful of co-authorships and a newfound addiction to coffee, all of which are stacked up against a ticking timebomb: my remaining days in the lab.
By LORENZ ADLUNG
I love immunology. Studying the immune system in all its complexity is thrilling and fascinating. It is challenging, but every day, I learn something new: Seeing things from a different angle. It is my firm belief that immunology is a research branch that offers, but also requires, particularly versatile perspectives.
By Jeremy Yeoh
One unpleasant aspect of the upcoming summer is the rise of undesirable insects (no offence to entomologists). The advent of the insect season brings upon us much suffering – mainly in the form of itchy and sometimes painful bites, causing pain and inflammation in the form of a red welt. Well, as the saying goes ‘no pain, no gain’ – this itchy bump is a coordinated effort by both the nervous and immune systems actively reacting to danger to protect us (by avoiding and preventing pathogen’s entry). While some people would think of pain as an annoying side effect, the nervous system can play a bigger role in influencing our immunity than one might think and possibly vice versa.
By Jeremy Yeoh
Have you ever felt like you don’t really fit in a box that was meant to describe you? Do you feel like both a Pisces and a Scorpio at the same time? To make our lives simpler, humans tend to categorize things into neat groups, whether it be ourselves, other humans or immune cells. However, in immunology, classification and categorization of cell identities are getting increasingly difficult as the numbers of different cell types that have been identified are getting out of hand with the advent of new technologies. This is getting even more problematic by the concept of plasticity in biology, creating a professional organizer’s worst nightmare.
By Lorenz Adlung
Immune cells communicate with each other thereby forming intricate interaction networks like the one on the right from the Author’s group work published 2019 in Cell. With recent advances in technology, we understand more about functional interdependencies between immune cellular subsets.
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