Researcher biography

My name is Alison Wang and I am a PhD student at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. I have always been fascinated about science and understanding about the natural world. I am not only passionate about applying my research to improve people’s quality of life but also an advocate of science communication and education. During my undergraduate studies in biomedical sciences, I became captivated by the human immune system and its role in protection against infectious diseases. My PhD project focuses on understanding the role of circadian rhythm in innate antimicrobial pathways. Circadian rhythm refers to an internal body clock that controls key physiological processes over a 24-hour cycle. Disruptions in circadian rhythm have been linked to various disease states, for example chronic liver disease, cancer, and neurological conditions. It is now clear that circadian rhythm also regulates the immune system, including the innate immune system that provides the first line of defence against infection. However, our understanding of how this process influences specific innate immune pathways that are involved in killing of bacteria during infections are quite limited. We also have a very limited understanding of how circadian rhythm influences the innate immune system during infection with uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), the major cause of urinary tract infections and a common cause of sepsis. My PhD project aims to address these key knowledge gaps. Outcomes from my project can increase our understanding of how circadian rhythm influences immune responses during infection and guide new immune-based approaches to combat infectious diseases that are caused by bacteria.