This year, EMBO has selected 30 researchers as new Young Investigators. Leila Akkari’s research group is one of the two selected groups based in The Netherlands. “I am extremely grateful and excited to join the EMBO family”, she says. “This young, vibrant community offers excellent networking and training opportunities for me and my group members. I am convinced that it will further advance our research.”
In short, her group investigates how we can use immune cells called macrophages to combat cancer. “Current immunotherapy is mostly focused on T-cells and it just does not work in some cancers. We have to understand other immune cells better. Macrophages, for example, are meant to protect human organs, but they do not always stick to that task once cancer enters the stage. We would like to identify novel therapies that reprogram macrophages so they return to protecting our body.”
EMBO Young Investigators are all under the age of 40, within their first four years of being principal investigators, and have a proven record of scientific excellence. They gain access to a wide range of benefits including networking opportunities, training in leadership skills and responsible research practices, and access to core facilities at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Young Investigators receive an award of 15,000 euros in the second year of their tenure, and can apply for further funding, travel grants and take advantage of mentorship opportunities amongst many other benefits.
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