Lejla is an iCASE PhD student at the Earlham Institute where, together with Unilever, she is focusing on developing bioinformatics approaches to investigate the effect of microbes and microbial communities on host cells.
Lejla joined the Korcsmaros Group during her undergraduate studies in 2014, during which she gained her BSc in Biology with a thesis titled “Discovering Salmonella – human protein-protein interaction network.” She gained her MSc in Molecular Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology, when she investigated the role of autophagy on intestinal cells in a Crohn’s disease model at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Her main project involved analysis of how different pathogens (e.g. Salmonella, Shigella, Legionella) affect human autophagy processes, and how cell functions change during malfunction of autophagy in intestinal Paneth cells. To achieve this, she learned professional database management and programming in Python and R.
The overall aim for her PhD project at EI is to develop a bioinformatics pipeline to infer microbe-host interactions from site-specific metagenomic datasets and host responses. Using computational and experimental methods, she plans to discover and verify new host-microbe interactions to map beneficial effects of microbes in the oral cavity and the scalp.
Leila plays classical and electric guitar and she is a singer in an amateur band.