EFIS Gender & Diversity Task Force

Mission: The EFIS Gender and Diversity Task Force aims to raise awareness, increase visibility, and support the networking of women, minorities and underrepresented groups in immunology.

Vision: Diversity is our strength!

Task Force Spokesperson:
Prof. Dr. Günnur Deniz
Istanbul University
Director of Aziz Sancar Institute of Experimental Medicine
Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required
Meet the Task Force members below.
GDeniz


Günnur Deniz (ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7960-9131) received her PhD in immunology from Liverpool University. Dr Deniz had worked at Istanbul University in numerous leadership positions to support and improve decision-making processes in administration. She also served as the President of the Turkish Society of Immunology. She is currently the director of Aziz Sancar Institute of Experimental Medicine. Her research involves autoimmune diseases, primary immunodeficiencies, several immunological disorders, regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. As the Spokesperson of the EFIS Diversity Task Force, she continues to address the under-representation of females and ethnic minorities in immunology.

MMontoya María Montoya (ORCID: 0000-0002-5703-7360) received her PhD from the Autonomous University in Madrid. Her postdoctoral stage was at "The Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research" belonging to the University of Oxford (UK). In 2005, she began to lead her first research group at the “Center de Recerca en Sanitat Animal” in Barcelona. In 2014, she was offered a position as a viral immunologist leading a research group at The Pirbright Institute (UK). She moved back to Spain in 2018 when she obtained a permanent position at the CIB-CSIC. The primary objectives of her research group are to study the mechanisms that control the relationships of RNA viruses with the host immune system. In the current pandemic, her group were able to apply this accumulated experience to study various aspects of SARS-CoV-2, such as the mechanisms of inflammation or to design a vaccine at CIB-CSIC. She is Vice-Spokesperson of the EFIS Diversity Task Force and she actively works to balance gender differences in science.

DGrcevic Danka Grcevic (ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2365-8249) received her PhD from University of Zagreb, Croatia, in the field of osteoimmunology. She is currently full professor at the Department of Physiology and Immunology, University of Zagreb School of Medicine. Research of Dr Grcevic is focused on the regulation of myelopoiesis under inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, particularly mechanisms that regulate differentiation and activity of osteoclasts. Her lab is currently investigating the role of Notch signaling in the regulation of human and mouse myeloid lineage differentiation in arthritis. As a member of the EFIS Diversity Task Force, she strongly believes that all researchers should have equal professional opportunities.

CCiraci Ceren Ciraci (ORCID ID 0000-0003-2162-0930) received her PhD from Iowa State University and completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Iowa Inflammation Program. She is currently an associate professor in the molecular biology department at Istanbul Technical University. Dr Ciraci has an interest in innate and adaptive immunity, in particular the study of Nod-like Receptors (NLRs). Her lab currently focuses on the regulation of adaptive immune responses through the components of innate immunity based on the preliminary results that utilized in vivo mouse models of airway inflammation. As a member of the EFIS Diversity Task Force, she believes that we should all be equally concerned about making anyone feel worthy of a particular field because of their science, not because of who they are.

TSaksida Tamara Saksida (ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2527-3246) received her PhD from the University of Belgrade. She is currently, a principal investigator at the Department of immunology, Institute for Biological Research „Siniša Stanković’” in Belgrade. Tamara has extensive experience in animal models of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and their pharmacological modulation. Her group is interested in modulation of anti-viral immunity in respiratory diseases via the gut immune system and also, in the regulation of cellular responses in different conditions. As a member of the EFIS Diversity Task Force, she believes that the scientific community should endeavor to ensure greater diversity, inclusion and equity.

CEsser Charlotte Esser received her Ph.D. in genetics in 1990 from the University of Cologne, Germany. She is currently a group leader at the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine and a professor at the University of Düsseldorf. Her research focuses on the immunological and immunotoxicological functions of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, a transcription factor activated by small molecules such as indoles from plant nutrients, or dioxins as an environmental pollutant. Charlotte has been an advocate for women in science for many years and believes that science needs all diverse viewpoints and energies. She is convinced that the structural hurdles and "unconscious bias" barriers against women in science must be acknowledged and addressed for the future of science.

DStravinskiene Dovile Stravinskiene received her PhD from Vilnius University, Lithuania, in 2019, in the field of developing monoclonal and recombinant antibodies against human cancer-associated proteins. She is currently a researcher in the Immunology and Cell Biology Department at the Institute of Biotechnology, Vilnius University. She is interested in the development of novel immunological tools of diagnostic and therapeutic relevance, applicable to the research of cancer, viral or bacterial infections, and allergies. Her group currently conducts projects on new technologies for allergy diagnosis, the generation of virus-specific antibodies for diagnostic applications, and the production of novel affinity binders for immunodetection of antimicrobial resistance. As a member of EFIS diversity task force team, she believes that no scientist, woman or man, should have to choose between their family or their career, and that everyone should be given equal opportunities to work despite their gender, race, or beliefs.

SKnapp Sylvia Knapp (ORCID: 0000-0001-9016-5244) received her MD form the University of Vienna and her PhD from Amsterdam University. After her clinical training in internal medicine and intensive care medicine, she transitioned to research and became a Principal Investigator at the Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Science. Since 2012 she is full professor of Infection Biology at the Medical University of Vienna. Her research addresses the innate immune response to infections in general, focusing specifically on the comprehensive repertoire of macrophage functions in health, development and disease. As a member of the EFIS Gender and Diversity Task Force she is highly committed to eliminating unconscious biases to improve and foster equal opportunities for women and minorities in science.