Tiara Putri, a doctoral student at the UGM Faculty of Biology, was awarded the Landesgraduiertenförderungsverordnung, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (LGFVO M-V) scholarship as part of a double degree program with the University of Greifswald, Germany.
The University of Greifswald awards the LGFVO M-V scholarship to young academics pursuing doctoral studies each semester, provided they have outstanding academic achievements and backgrounds.
The selection process for this scholarship is highly competitive, with only seven doctoral students at the University of Greifswald having the opportunity to receive it each semester.
In addition to academic achievements during bachelor’s and master’s studies, the selection criteria for this scholarship require previous research experience, the quality of the doctoral research project to be undertaken, and recommendation letters from professors in a related research field.
“I am quite happy and proud to receive this LGFVO M-V scholarship,” Tiara Putri said on Thursday (September 14).
In 2022, Putri had previously received the Bayer Foundation Fellowship in Drug Discovery (Germany).
As a recipient of both of these scholarships, Putri is currently pursuing her doctoral double degree at the Department of Molecular Genetics and Infection Biology, University of Greifswald, under the guidance of Professor Sven Hammerschmidt and Professor Budi Setiadi Daryono, Dean of the UGM Faculty of Biology.
Her current research project collaborates with the Eijkman Molecular Biology Research Center (BRIN) and is co-promoted by Dr. Dodi Safari, head of the Molecular Bacteriology laboratory.
The research focuses on the topic of “Viral-Bacterial Coinfection of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Influenza A Virus in the Upper Respiratory Tract.”
Putri explained that based on previous research, more than 95% of morbidity and mortality due to influenza pandemics worldwide are caused by bacterial coinfections.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most frequently isolated bacterial pathogen in these influenza pandemics, and WHO reports that this bacterium causes up to one million child deaths per year, making it a specific issue in the global healthcare system.
To further investigate this bacterial and viral coinfection, Tiara uses mouse lung tissue sections as an alternative to live test animals. She believes this method is an excellent alternative to meet the need for testing animal models in laboratories and clinics.
“The benefits are significant in fulfilling the principles of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) to reduce the number of animals used in in vivo experiments,” she explained.
The 3R concept is essential for implementing SDG 12: “to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns” because it emphasizes energy and resource conservation.
Lung tissue sections can maintain cellular complexity and lung architecture, providing a platform that resembles natural conditions for studying pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the respiratory tract.
“Thus, it greatly helps reduce the use of test animals in research and clinical settings,” she concluded.
Author: UGM Faculty of Biology
Editor: Agung Nugroho