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Caitlin O’Brien-Ball

Caitlin O’Brien-Ball, Chair

Caitlin is currently working in the lab of Dr. Ricardo Fernandes as an Oxford-BMS Postdoctoral Fellow, where her work is focussed on understanding inhibitory signalling in T cells and using this knowledge to improve immunotherapies.  

Prior to this, she completed her DPhil in Medical Sciences at the WIMM, investigating early signalling in T and B cells with fluorescence and super-resolution microscopy.

Throughout her time in Oxford she has had an active role in many academic and social committees and was recently promoted to Chair of the Oxford Immunology Group.

Ffion Hammond

Ffion Hammond, Science in Progress Co-Lead 

Ffion is a postdoctoral researcher in Immunity and Antimicrobial resistance in the lab of Prof. Dame Fiona Powrie, funded by an EPSRC “Beyond Antibiotics” programme grant for the Centre for Antimicrobial Research and Engineering (CARE). Her research focuses on Klebsiella pneumonia, one of the six ESKAPE nosocomial pathogens that exhibit multidrug resistance, to study its interactions between the tissue microenvironment, host microbiome, and modulation of host immunity.

Prior to moving to Oxford, Ffion completed her PhD at the University of Sheffield, which focused on targeting host-derived signalling and function of leukocytes to improve infection outcomes and identify candidates for host-directed therapies in multiple in vivo infection models.

During her PhD, Ffion was also a co-ordinator of PubhD Sheffield – a public engagement event aimed to improve science communication and give students and early career researchers opportunity to talk about their research to a lay audience in an informal and friendly environment. As part of the OIG, she is keen to continue to support researchers develop their presentation skills with the SIP series. 

Carolyn Nielsen

Carolyn Nielsen, Symposium coordinator

Carolyn is a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow working with Prof Simon Draper’s Blood-Stage Malaria Group in the Department of Biochemistry. Her research centres on interrogating the impact of vaccine platform and dosing regimen on the cellular drivers of humoral immunity using a combination of flow cytometry, systems serology, and single cell RNA sequencing. Carolyn also runs the upstream single B cell sorting for a variety of mAb production projects and is involved in the Draper group’s controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) model and transfer of this model to colleagues at the Ifakara Health Insititute (Tanzania).

Prior to moving to Oxford, Carolyn completed her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine under the supervision of Prof Eleanor Riley. Her PhD work, supported by an MRC Vaccine Research studentship, focused on the impact of human cytomegalovirus infection on natural killer cell responses to vaccines.

During both her PhD and a prior internship at the World Health Organization, Carolyn has been involved with leading “work-in-progress" programmes similar to the OIG SIP series and is keen to support students and early career researchers develop their networking and presentations skills.

Ricardo Fernandes

Ricardo FernandesScience in Progress Co-Lead

Ricardo Fernandes recently joined CAMS Oxford Institute coming from Stanford where he developed novel molecules to effectively shut down signalling by immune receptors such as PD-1.

Please get in touch with us if you would be interested in joining the OIG committee!