Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART)
Sara Dummler has been a postdoctoral associate in the Chen lab at SMART since November 2012 investigating malaria infection in a Humanized Mouse Model. She obtained her PhD at the Technische Universität München performing her doctoral research study at the German Heart Center Munich, Department of Experimental Surgery in Germany under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hans Hauner. Her PhD studies involved genome-wide expression analysis of human bypass grafts with different degrees of atherosclerosis. She identified an anti-apoptotic network and validated various candidate genes for the development of atherosclerosis and intimal hyperplasia in the bypass grafts using in vitro and ex vivo systems. In the Chen lab at SMART, Sara uses NSG mice, which are engrafted with human hematopoietic stem cells directly after birth and, therefore, develop a human immune system. She then injects those Humanized Mice with human Red Blood Cells (RBCs) to generate a target for malaria infection caused by the asexual multiplication of Plasmodium ssp. Plasmodium only infects human RBCs and the most severe form of malaria in humans is caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Sara particularly focuses on the interchange between the innate immune system and the parasite in the humanized mouse model for malaria infection.