I am the laboratory manager for the Broegelmann Research Laboratory (BRL). I work closely with students, researchers and group leaders within the laboratory, assisting with operational tasks and the research school (Bergen Research School of Inflammation). I am originally from New Zealand and finished my PhD in 2017 at the BRL at the University of Bergen, Norway under the supervision of Prof. Silke Appel, Petra Vogelsang (PhD) and Prof. Roland Jonsson. I have a background in immunology with extensive experience in immunological laboratory methods, cell culture, method development and optimization, and flow and mass cytometry.
Currently I am working on projects under the framework of NORMENT with Prof. Stephanie Le Hellard aiming at characterizing endocannabinoid system associated immune cell signalling networks in schizophrenia patients as well as examining skews of peripheral blood immune cells within these patients. Further I work closely with the Head of BRL, Prof. Helena Erlandsson Harris examining inflammation with a focus on juvenile idiopathic arthritis and the alarmin HMGB1.
- (2022). Impaired activation of STAT5 upon IL-2 stimulation in Tregs and elevated sIL-2R in Sjögren’s syndrome. Arthritis Research & Therapy. 12 pages.
- (2022). Harmonization and qualification of intracellular cytokine staining to measure influenza-specific CD4<sup>+</sup> T cell immunity within the FLUCOP consortium. Frontiers in Immunology. 14 pages.
- (2022). Harmonization and qualification of an IFN-γ Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSpot assay (ELISPOT) to measure influenza-specific cell-mediated immunity within the FLUCOP consortium. Frontiers in Immunology. 14 pages.
- (2022). Aberrant signaling of immune cells in Sjögren's syndrome patient subgroups upon interferon stimulation. Frontiers in Immunology. 13 pages.
- (2021). Humoral and cellular immune responses in critically ill influenza A/H1N1-infected patients. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology. 1-9.
- (2019). Single cell based phosphorylation profiling identifies alterations in toll-like receptor 7 and 9 signaling in patients with primary sjogren's syndrome. Frontiers in Immunology. 1-18.
- (2018). Phosphorylation of intracellular signaling molecules in peripheral blood cells from psoriasis patients on originator or biosimilar infliximab. British Journal of Dermatology. 371-380.
- (2018). Improving influenza vaccines: challenges to effective implementation. Current Opinion in Immunology. 88-95.
Perturbations of the Endocannabinoid system in immune cell signaling networks in Schizophrenia and inflammation
Schizophrenia (SCZ), a major psychiatric disorder that affects 1% of the population, is characterized by negative symptoms (e.g. withdrawal, anhedonia), positive symptoms (e.g. hallucinations, delusions) and cognitive deficits. Dysregulation of the immune and endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of SCZ. The use of cannabis is the strongest environmental risk factor for SCZ, with more than 22% of patients with SCZ using cannabis at the time of their first episode of psychosis. While poorer anti-psychotic treatment responses are associated with cannabis users than non-users. The aim of our project is to characterize endocannabinoid system (ECS) associated immune cell signalling networks in cannabis using and non-using SCZ patients. We propose to employ human peripheral blood, mass cytometry and selective agonists of cannabinoid receptors to identify ECS associated immune cell signalling events. The identified ECS associated immune cell signalling network will be characterized in regards to donor phenotype: SCZ patients (cannabis users and non-users) and healthy donors to identify disease specific nodes associated with SCZ and cannabis use and whether altered blood DNA-methylation found in SCZ cannabis users, and inflammatory cytokine production are associated with shifts in the cell signalling landscape. Associations with DNA methylation and the immune cell signalling network will further be investigated through in-vitro exposure of peripheral blood cells to the primary cannabis constituents: phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidol (CBD).