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Dr Aize Pellon has always been interested in microbe-host interactions. During his PhD at the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Spain), he studied host immune responses to pathogenic fungi. Then, he moved to CIC bioGUNE (Bilbao, Spain) as a postdoc where he developed an interest in how our body, and in particular the immune system, copes with the huge amount of commensal microorganisms inhabiting our body (i.e. microbiota).

In this context, Candida albicans is a very interesting microbe as it establishes both commensal and pathogenic relations with the host, depending on the mucosal environmental conditions, immune status, etc. His work at King’s College London in David Moyes Lab is focused on analysing epithelial cells’ immune responses to C. albicans, and the relevance of their interactions with immune cells, such as macrophages. They apply molecular and cellular biology techniques, as well as multi-omic data sets, to investigate these immune responses and the development of innate immune memory by epithelial cells.