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Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds to support T cell research

26 Apr 2023

Elisa Marchiori joined the lab of Joris van der Veeken in 2022. For her PhD, she is investigating the many functions of a protein that affects the differentiation and function of T cells. The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds will now support her ambitious research with a PhD Fellowship for the next two years.

T cells make up the main fighters of our immune system. Once T cells are activated, they proliferate and differentiate into subtypes to eliminate a wide range of pathogens and tumours in various organs. Scientists in the lab of Joris van der Veeken, established at the IMP in 2021, investigate the molecular mechanisms that underlie T cell differentiation.

Elisa Marchiori joined the Vienna BioCenter PhD Program after her master’s at the University of Trento, Italy. For her doctoral studies, she is taking in vivo and in vitro approaches to examine the function of RORγt, a versatile transcription factor that affects many T cell subtypes, including cells that play conflicting roles in the immune system.

“This transcription factor is a potential therapeutic target for antagonistic drugs, but we don’t know which functions of the molecule these drugs perturb,” she says. “I’m striving to gain a comprehensive understanding of all the functions of RORγt, and how drugs might affect them.”

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) grants PhD fellowships lasting between two and three and a half years to exceptional early-career researchers worldwide. This competitive program supports challenging PhD projects in basic biomedical research at world-renowned institutions. In addition to a monthly stipend, fellows are entitled to seminars, travel allowances, one-on-one support, and the opportunity to join a global community of fellows and alumni. In this call, Elisa Marchiori is part of approximately ten percent of candidates who received a fellowship.

Further reading

About the Vienna BioCenter PhD Program

Research with Joris van der Veeken