She also connects basic research on signal processing within the immune system with questions in the context of cancer immunotherapies. By combining methods from synthetic biology with microscopy techniques capable of visualising single molecules, she seeks to understand decision-making by immune cells, particularly T cells. For example, how can their receptors reliably distinguish between ligands that are very similar, a process with life-and-death consequences for the organism? This kind of deeper insight into these cellular processes is therefore of great importance for improving the treatment of diseases in which it is precisely this kind of decision-making that goes wrong, for example in autoimmune diseases and cancer. Within The Young Academy, Kristina intends to champion the creation of a fair and inclusive environment, so as to make possible top-quality research, and to share her passion for open science. She intends using her extensive experience in interdisciplinary research to help researchers from different disciplines connect with one another, but also so as to take a critical look at the challenges of implementing interdisciplinary research within funding bodies.
Group leader Autonomous Matter and Physics of Cellular Interactions