Natalia Hajdamowicz

I am Natalia Hajdamowicz, a hard-working Polish scientist inspired by Marie Curie-Skłodowska. I decided to further my scientific career by being a PhD student at the University of Sheffield, having worked there as an Erasmus student in the past. The opportunity to work at The Florey Institute came up when I was doing a research project in the Netherlands at the University of Leiden working in the Prof Annemarie Meijer’s lab, looking at hypoxia signalling in relation to Aspergillus spp. Infection in zebrafish model. I was given the opportunity to work alongside Prof Alison Condliffe (Scientific ’Mother’ and Mentor) and Prof Simon Foster (Scientific ‘Father’ and Mentor). My PhD project follows on well from my work in Leiden and is about how human neutrophils (immune cells which respond rapidly to control infections) kill Staphylococcus aureus, a major cause of human disease and death, and how hypoxia interferes with this bacterial killing process. Both bacterial infection and immune cell infiltration induce local tissue hypoxia, so sites of infection are characterised by profound hypoxia, which may exert a dramatic effect on host-pathogen interactions. Now, I am finalising my experiments and writing my thesis as I come towards the conclusion of my PhD.