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AIAS Seminar: Søren Egedal Degn, Aarhus University

Peering into the Darwinian microcosm: The extraordinary abilities and striking dangers of B cells

2021.01.19 | AIAS

Date Mon 01 Mar
Time 14:15 15:30
Location Virtual via Zoom

The talk is streamed via Zoom. Join URL:  https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/66906879887 to attend.  

Speaker: Søren Egedal Degn, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University


Most of us are able to withstand the novel coronavirus with only mild symptoms. Some of us are allergic to peanuts or penicillin, while others develop autoimmune diseases. Those of us who were vaccinated against measles will never contract this disease. Our immune system has the remarkable abilities of being able to react with anything imaginable, of learning, and of memory! I will present some of the approaches we are using to understand how all this comes about.

Short bio

Søren completed his BSc (2004) and MSc (2007) in Molecular Biology at Aarhus University. During his MSc, he spent 1 year at the Departments of Biochemistry and Immunology at the University of Toronto, Canada where he worked with Professor David E. Isenman. Søren then joined the laboratory of Professors Jens Chr. Jensenius and Steffen Thiel, where he completed his PhD in Immunology (2010), on the topic of the lectin pathway of complement. His thesis work included the discovery of a novel regulatory component of this pathway, the protein MAp44 (Degn et al., Journal of Immunology, 2009). In the course of his PhD studies, Søren also worked for 1 year in the laboratory of Professor Michael C. Carroll at the Immune Disease Institute, Harvard Medical School, where he contributed to elucidating how influenza viral antigen is transported and presented in the draining lymph node in a vaccination setting (Gonzalez et al., Nature Immunology, 2010). Following award of his PhD degree, Søren continued his work on the lectin pathway of complement as a postdoctoral fellow (2011-2013) with Professors Jens Chr. Jensenius and Steffen Thiel. In a series of papers (Degn et al., Journal of Immunology, 2012; Degn et al., Journal of Immunology, 2013; Degn et al., PNAS, 2014), Søren presented a novel theory for the activation mechanism of the lectin pathway of complement. In 2013, he returned to the laboratory of Professor Michael C. Carroll, now at the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM) at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. During his Marie Curie Fellowship at the PCMM, Søren built his expertise within lymphocyte biology using in vivo models and two-photon microscopy, forming the basis of his return to Aarhus University as a Group Leader and Assistant Professor in 2017.

What is an AIAS Seminar?

The AIAS Seminar is a session of seminars held by the AIAS fellow or by other speakers proposed by the fellows. In each seminar, one fellow will present and discuss his/her current research and research project, closing off with a question and discussion session.

All seminars are held in English.