NAD Fellow year: 2024

Alba Pérez Arribas

MSc Immunology and Inflammation, University of Copenhagen

Lab rotations - pre-PhD year

Lab Rotation 1

Issazadeh-Navikas Group, Biotech Research & Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen w/PI Shohreh Issazadeh-Navikas

Alba is investigating the reasons behind the development of lysosomal storage disease (LSD)-like neuropathology in CD1d-deficient mice and examining whether these mice exhibit spontaneous gut inflammation. To achieve these tasks, Alba will conduct NKT and cortical neural cell culture, co-culture of both cell types, FACS analysis, qPCR, Western blotting, tissue stainings, and cell culture immunofluorescence.

Lab Rotation 2

Department of Neurology, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital w/PI’s Tomasz Brudek and Susana Aznar

Lab Rotation 3

Wüstner Group, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Copenhagen w/PI Professor Daniel Wüstner

Meet Alba Pérez Arribas

With a keen interest in neuroinflammation, Alba Pérez Arribas is eager to embark on her PhD journey.

Originally from Spain, Alba Pérez Arribas moved to Denmark to study for a master’s degree in Immunology and Inflammation at the University of Copenhagen, completing her degree in 2023. She did her master’s thesis in the Kornum Lab at the Department of Neuroscience, studying how the immune system affects the hypothalamic neural functions of lethargy and thermoregulation during sickness.

With a background in biochemistry, Alba has honed in on her research interests over the course of her studies:

“I studied a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry because I always had this interest in understanding how we work as human beings, but always at a higher level. For my master’s degree, I was in between neuroscience and immunology and ended up studying immunology, but as the courses were going on, I realised that I was missing neuroscience. That is when I decided to look for a master thesis that could combine both my main interests, and that is how I ended up in the neuroinflammation field,” Alba explains.

For her first rotation, Alba will join the Issazadeh-Navikas Group at the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre at the University of Copenhagen. The group mainly works on the interaction between the immune and central nervous systems, and Alba will be working with antigen presentation and the involvement it has in development and/or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

“What I am mostly going to get out of the first rotation is technique as well as a bit of broad background and theoretical knowledge,” Alba says.

Moving to Denmark from Spain for her master’s degree, Alba has experience in establishing connections in a foreign country, and she is eager to expand her network even further through the NAD programme:

“I think learning new ways of working, thinking and approaching different situations (…) is really enriching. Going through the NAD programme is a commitment for four years, and there are going to be ups and downs. I think that having a group of 15 other people that are going through the same thing will be really helpful. The pre-PhD year also makes it really easy to make connections between labs and do collaborations,” Alba explains.