Martina Spiljar won the best PhD thesis award

Martina Spiljar from the Trajkovski lab won the best doctoral thesis award of the Faculty of Medicine. Her thesis entitled “Systemic metabolic stimulation by cold exposure reprograms monocytes and attenuates neuroinflammation” was conducted under joint mentorship by Prof. Mirko TRAJKOVSKI from the Department of Cell physiology and metabolism and Prof. Doron MERKLER from the Department of pathology and immunology.



The outcome of various diseases, including autoimmune disorders, are influenced by environmental factors and are in part mediated by changes in the microbiota composition. Martina's work has focused on the impact of cold exposure on the immune system and in neuroinflammation, as well as on the role played by microbiota in this interaction. Her thesis showed that cold temperature reduces the severity of multiple sclerosis in a mouse model by rendering certain immune cells less harmful. These findings may pave the way for improved therapeutic options.

Martina Spiljar has now joined the laboratory of Prof. Vijay Kuchroo at Harvard Medical School in Boston, to work on identifying molecular pathways that regulate T cell responses for the benefit of treating immune-mediated disease.



20 May 2021