Digital Public Defence: Ivana Mikocziova

MSci Ivana Mikocziova at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis Characterisation of germline immunoglobulin variants from naïve B cell receptor repertoires for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Amalia Huth Hovland

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Second opponent: Group leader Johannes Trück, University Children's Hospital, Switzerland
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Dag Undlien, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Associate Professor Andreas Lossius, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Ludvig M. Sollid, University of Oslo


Antibodies and B cell receptors are crucial components of the immune system.  However, immunoglobulin genes, which encode both antibodies and B cell receptors, are not well explored. This is partly due to high similarities among immunoglobulin genes, large structural variation of the immunoglobulin loci as well as the presence of somatic hypermutation in antigen-experienced B cells.

In this thesis, we used a dataset composed of naïve immunoglobulin repertoires from a cohort of 100 Norwegians. Since naïve B cells have not undergone somatic hypermutation, we were able to infer germline alleles from this dataset. We optimised existing software tools for germline inference and discovered a great amount of structural variation and a large number of previously unreported immunoglobulin V alleles in both heavy and light chain genes. On top of that, we developed an approach for filtering potential sequencing and PCR artefacts.

We also analysed the leader sequences and 5’ untranslated regions (5’UTR) of immunoglobulin genes and discovered even more polymorphisms in these regions. Surprisingly, we found several sequences with identical coding V region that had different 5’ UTRs and/or leader sequences. Our analysis also revealed alternatively spliced transcripts of genes with low usage levels, which raises questions about mechanisms that regulate the expression of immunoglobulin genes.

The results of our work provide a valuable contribution to the efforts to characterise germline immunoglobulin gene variants. This will enable further research into the functional effect of immunoglobulin polymorphisms as well as exploration of possible influence of coding and non-coding immunoglobulin polymorphisms on health and disease.

Additional information

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Published May 5, 2021 3:02 PM - Last modified May 25, 2021 11:37 AM