[2015-05-15] MIMS welcomes Andrea Puhar who is establishing her research group from May 2015 at the Department of Molecular Biology.
Andrea has during the previous years performed postdoctoral research at Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. Before her arrival in Umeå, she spent some months as a visiting scientist in the Department of Gastroenterology, RWTH University, Aachen, Germany.
Andrea Puhar has an international background. Born in Graz, Austria, she grew up in Lugano, Switzerland. She received her higher education at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and wrote her master’s thesis in microbiology, studying respiratory complexes in Vibrio cholerae and the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. She moved to the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Padua, Italy, for her PhD in the lab of Cesare Monecucco. She worked on how clostridial neurotoxins, anthrax toxins, and VacA from Helicobacter pylori insert into membranes of target cells and access the cytosol through the endosomal compartment and how they subvert target cell functions.
For her postdoc she moved to the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, and joined the lab of Philippe Sansonetti. She focused on studies of the immune response to infection and immune evasion mechanisms of the intestinal pathogen Shigella flexneri.
Andrea’s research will be an important research area at MIMS studying mechanisms of inflammation in relation to infection. She has her focus on the role of extracellular ATP (eATP) in infectious diseases. ATP secretion of the gut epithelial cells is an early immune response to infection with several intestinal pathogens. Andrea showed in her earlier studies how the bacteria Shigella could escape the immune defense strategies of the epithelial cells.
At MIMS she plans to decipher the regulation mechanisms of eATP secretion and ensuing immune response and how intestinal pathogens and the microbiota control the concentration of eATP and thereby the development of acute and chronic inflammation.
"I'm delighted to join the MIMS, because it's a dynamic and well-connected research centre with a great programme for young group leaders, supportive colleagues and a friendly, stimulating atmosphere", Andrea said when she was asked why she choose MIMS as the next step in her career.