Antigona Ulndreaj

Antigona_Profile Picture

Goal for 2014: To learn and to publish

Scientific background: I completed my undergraduate studies in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. During that time, I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Sotiria Boukouvala and later on, in the laboratory of Dr. Raphael Sandaltzopoulos. For the last year of my studies, I was awarded a fellowship to conduct my research thesis in the laboratory of Dr. John Lambris at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Current position: I am a second year graduate student at the Institute of Medical Science (IMS) at the University of Toronto.

Why spinal cord injury: The immune system is a strong component of the function of the central nervous system and discovering the underlying mechanisms of neuro-immune interactions during health and disease has always fascinated me.
The largely unexplored role of the adaptive immune system in the complications of spinal cord injury intrigued me to pursue my graduate studies in Dr. Fehlings’ lab and I am very excited to be a member of one of the world-leading laboratories in the field of spinal cord injury.

Project details: My research focuses on the role of humoral immune responses after spinal cord injury. Particularly, I am investigating how antibodies against the central nervous system cause further neuronal degeneration after spinal cord injury.

Greatest accomplishments: My greatest accomplishments include joining the lab of Dr. Lambris, at the University of Pennsylvania, in order to conduct my undergraduate research thesis, and doing my graduate studies in Dr. Fehlings’ lab.

Career goals: I aspire to do high-quality research that will lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of spinal cord injury.

Extracurricular activities: I am an executive member of the IMS Students’ Association (IMSSA), currently having the position of the representative of International students. In my free time, I enjoy engaging in volunteering activities, taking salsa classes and doing zumba dancing. Also, I study Spanish and read psychology books. My favorite activity is spending time with good friends.

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