In conversation with our young researchers: Takumi Kobayashi

18 March 2022

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Immune protection against cancer.

Investigating the function of immune effectors to eradicate malignant cells.

How the three immune effectors involved in the tumor’s killing process are working?

Takumi Kobayashi, a postdoctoral researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), Department of Infection and Immunity, is trying to better understand the cellular metabolism and its role in the anti-tumor immune response.

Crucial immune cells

The immune system is crucial for a health body function and protects us from severe infection. However, a dysregulated immunity can cause cancer. Especially, the control of immune cell metabolism as emerged as a powerful way to regulate immunity.

Immune protection against cancer is mediated by both innate and adaptive immune systems. The critical immune response to eradicate tumor is killing of malignant cells, which necessitates the function of three immune effectors, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and CD8 T cells. As a member of the Experimental and Molecular Immunology laboratory, Takumi is investigating the role of ubiquitination, one of the important biochemical reactions, in controlling the function of these immune cells.

Understanding the biology of the innate and adaptive immune arms founds a basis to eradicate cancer.

Takumi Kobayashi

The power of immune system

As an undergraduate student in University of Tasmania in Australia, Takumi identified and characterized CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the Tasmanian devils, one of the endangered marsupial species in Australia due to Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) that is one of the few transmissible cancers discovered in mammalian animals.

He then moved to Brisbane Queensland (Australia), to develop combination immune therapies against blood cancers by targeting immune checkpoint molecules combined with an immune adjuvant that elicit anti-cancer immunity.

Takumi Kobayashi then followed to conduct his PhD on immune cell metabolism in blood cancer tumor microenvironment, in which he studied the role of lipid metabolism in natural killer cells, one of of the important immune cells against cancers.      

I am fascinated by the power of the immune system and have been aspiring to discover the new means to boost it to fight against devastating diseases like cancer.

Takumi Kobayashi

Multicultural and inclusive research environment

Establishing life here when Takumi first move, was not so easy due to the pandemic situation. He also had to face some administrative issues regarding visa, how to get living authorization and obtain residence permit, etc. Finding a long-term accommodation was not an easy task either.

Once these formalities have been completed, Luxembourg is a safe country in a region that makes it easier to move in.

Myself being an expat, I enjoy the inclusive and multicultural nature of Luxembourg. I feel fortunate that I am able to enjoy both work and life outside the lab with great colleagues and friends. 

Takumi Kobayashi

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