Travel story: Soon Wei Wong

Soon Wei Wong from the Robinson Research Institute travelled to Davos, Switzerland to attend the 13th World Immune Regulation Meeting where he presented a poster on “A Novel Role for ZEB2 in the Human CD4+ T cell Compartment”.

This is what Soon Wei had to say about his experience:

What was a highlight of the travel?

Having opportunities to meet people, develop ideas, raise visibility, and get inspired for own project as well as others.

Did you meet any researchers or collaborators of significance? Why are they important to your work?

Massimiliano Pagini, founder of CheckMab from University Statale approached me during my poster presentation. Results in my poster sparked his interest, suggesting a role of transcription factor ZEB2 in Tr1 cells which he is working on. He recommended an approach to me of doing a ZEB2 chromatin immunoprecipitation which I will be testing it out. I also had discussions with other researchers including Cindy Hoeks (Hasselt University of BIOMED) who presented her work on cytotoxic CD4 T cells escaping Tregs supression, Derk Masen (Sanquin and Landsteiner Laboratory) who just recently discovered a surface marker for human thymic Treg with stable FOXP3 expression and Samuele Notarbartolo (Institute for Research in Biomedicine) which has done single cell cloning of IL-10+ Th17. Even though there might not be any new collaborations, I get inspired with all suggestions which are highly relevant to my work.

How will the experience support you and your research going forward? 

I have heard a lot of talk about single cell sequencing and that is really a fascinating technology. I hope that I will be able to get my hands on the technology for my work in the future.

What was the most exciting thing you learned/experienced whilst traveling?

I learned a lot from senior researchers about their journey to become a successful researcher. That inspire me to become like one too.

What was the most interesting or unexpected moment of your travel?

I met Hock Tay, a post-doc from The University of Newcastle. He is a brother of a friend whom I used to go tuition with when I was in Malaysia. It was such as coincidence as he used to do experiment with cell line given by my supervisor, Simon Barry. This conference provided the chance for us to get to know each other and our research background. Hope to see him again in ASI 2019 which will be in Adelaide.

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