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HKU-PRP News

18 Dec 2020

Carolyn Cohen: “Thanks to the expertise of HKU-Pasteur in coronaviruses, I have had the opportunity to be involved in the current global effort”

HKU-Pasteur celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, it is the occasion to show you a little bit more about the people who make this lab a major research pole on infectious diseases, an innovative teaching center and a very special place for us all.

Today, meet Carolyn Cohen, PhD student from Sophie Valkenburg's team:

"After completing an undergraduate degree in microbiology and immunology, I applied for a Research Assistant position at the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole in the team of Dr. Sophie Valkenburg. As immunology is a very fast-changing field, I was wishing to explore new and up-to-date techniques.
 
I was mostly attracted by the opportunity of pursuing research in immunology regarding the human side of the pathogen. HKU-Pasteur is an ideal place to conduct such research, with the possibility of working with human clinical samples thanks to its strong network of associated hospitals. I have decided to stay at the lab after a year for my postgraduate studies and obtained a Hong Kong PhD fellowship.

 

My thesis is focused on the pandemic immune responses. I am interested in exploring the differences between immune responses to pandemics such as influenzas, to which most immune systems are used to, and immune responses to new viruses in naïve immune systems. Thanks to the expertise of HKU-Pasteur in coronaviruses, I have had the opportunity to adapt my topic to the new pandemic and to be involved in the current global effort. This is both challenging and very exciting! Overall, I like doing research at the lab because it is an inspiring and supportive work environment with friendly people and an amazing sea view!"