Athena Cavounidis




I completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, during which immunology captivated me. I hence decided to pursue this interest further through the MSc in Integrated Immunology, carrying out my master’s thesis in Holm Uhlig’s lab. During this time I worked on modelling phagocyte defects using iPS cells and bacterial handling defects in inflammatory bowel disease, projects that I continued to work on as a research assistant in the lab. I am now a DPhil student interrogating defective anti-microbial pathways in Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome.

Research interests:

Cell-autonomous defense; mechanisms governing innate immunity

Current project:

Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome results in oculocutaneous albinism, bleeding diathesis and in some cases lung fibrosis and granulomatous colitis. Patients have defects in the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles, and we are trying to identify and characterize the pathways involved in order to elucidate the mechanism of inflammatory bowel disease in these patients.