photo-danielirimia2Dr. Daniel Irimia is an Associate Professor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is studying how neutrophils protect us against microbes, and how neutrophil motility changes during infections and sepsis. For these studies, he is designing robust microscale tools to measure cell migration with high precision, directly from patient blood samples.
Dr. Felix Ellett is a Post-Doc at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard. He is developing non-invasive, “infection-on-a-chip” microfluidic assays aimed at identifying people who might be at high risk of infection following trauma or burn injury. This platform will also be used to identify new treatments to boost the immune system against infection, a key strategy in a post-antibiotic world.
 Dr. Elena Cardenal-Muñoz is a Post-Doc at the laboratory of Prof. Thierry Soldati, University of Geneva. She studies how pathogenic mycobacteria manipulate the immune defenses of their host cells, using the amoeba Dictyostelium as a model phagocyte. Elena also works as a Social Media Editor for the scientific journal Cellular Microbiology.
Anika Marand is a research technician at the BioMEMS resource center at MGH. She is currently studying migration and behaviors of antibiotic-treated neutrophils towards S. aureus in microfluidic assays. She is also measuring the effects of different chemokines on neutrophil migration. For the Dicty World Race, she is working on optimizing the Dictyostelium cell migration in new mazes, which were designed by Dr. Felix Ellett.
 Arjan Kortholt, Peter van Haastert, Ineke Keizer-Gunnink and Marjon Kamp (from left to right) are all members of the Cell Biochemistry group at the University of Groningen. The central question in their research is to understand how the cell responds to very shallow chemical signals and which signalling pathways are involved. They use Dictyosteliumand combine genetic, biochemical and biophysical techniques to identify the basal chemotaxis pathways. In their opinion the Dicty World Race 2017 will be important for the understanding of chemotaxis in complex environments.

Earlier contributions

We are very thankful to everyone who helped get this Race off the ground:

Dr. Michael Myre is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Kennedy College of Sciences. He characterizes the cellular and molecular pathways that cause neurodegenerative disorders, specifically Huntington’s Disease (HD), by using the genetically tractable organism Dictyostelium (Dicty). To this end, he has developed a deficiency model in Dicty. Strains without the htt gene show that it is critical for processes have subsequently also been found to be altered in various mammalian models of HD.
Julianne Jorgensen is a Research Engineer at Massachusetts General Hospital. She develops microfluidic assays and measures neutrophil migration and microbial interactions in these assays. She also studies neutrophil migration from patients to understand the effects of a variety disease conditions.
Hayley Kohler is an undergraduate student at Boston University studying Biology with a pre-medical track. Her research interests include Immunology, Pathology, and Trauma.