My road to the pneumococcus and meningitis

20th April 2015

In the second of her blogs, researcher Dr Marie Yang outlines how she became involved in meningitis research

The very first time I truly appreciated the impact that my research could have on improving human health was towards the end of my PhD, in Canada. 

My PhD was on the topic of immunological responses in the context of food-mediated allergies. Our most recent findings on the immunotherapeutic use of peptides had been featured on the national news. 

Shortly afterwards, I received emails from food allergy sufferers or their families, enquiring about when our peptide cocktail would go into clinical trials.

In their emails, these people – mostly parents – shared their fears, worries and life-long struggle with food allergies.

These messages were inspirational as they made me realise that I could make a difference.

One husband and two children later, our little family moved back to Liverpool and I joined the Institute of Infection and Global Health as a postdoctoral researcher, under the leadership of Prof Aras Kadioglu and Dr Dean Everett. 

The primary goal of my research was going to be working towards the development of a vaccine against pneumococcal meningitis. 

There could not be a better opportunity for me to combine my academic knowledge of the central nervous system and my passion for immunology and vaccine research. 

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Next time Marie outlines a typical day in the lab and what her research consists of.