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Dr. Gina Leisching

Hi There! I’m Gina Leisching, an immunologist with a specific interest in infectious diseases.

Dr. Gina Leisching holds a BSc in Functional Human Biology, and Honours degree in Physiological Sciences, as well as a doctorate in human physiology from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her research interests include pathologies and the molecular mechanisms underpinning this homeostatic dysregulation. In line with this, her doctoral work focussed on the molecular aspects of cervical cancer as well as ways in which to circumvent cisplatin chemoresistance and improve chemotherapeutic regimes. She then went on to study infectious diseases, specifically tuberculosis and the host response to infection. This work became her passion and she decided to further her research and move over to Trinity College Dublin to focus on the immunology and metabolic dysregulation that is observed during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.

Human disease has always been my main topic of interest and combined with my love for detail, my research primarily focussed on the molecular aspects and the dysregulated signaling mechanisms that often accompany diseases such as cancer. You can have a look at my publication history here.

My undergraduate degree, therefore, encompassed all aspects of human biology, which included biochemistry, genetics, physiology, and microbiology. I naturally went on to specialize in Physiology in my Honours degree. For my Ph.D., I decided to investigate chemoresistance markers in cervical cancer as well as adjuvant treatments that could circumvent cisplatin cytotoxicity.

Looking for a change in direction, I went on to study Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and look specifically at how human macrophages respond to infection with the bacteria using Next-Generation sequencing approaches. I then expanded on my skill set and included research concerned with elucidating the immunological aspects of active tuberculosis infection and how this affects the metabolic, and therefore the innate immune response of the cell.

I am extremely passionate about my work, which is mainly driven by never-ending curiosity and the pursuit of research excellence. At Gene Food, I aim to use my knowledge to provide evidence-based pieces that readers may find helpful and informative.

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