Research area

The research programme Infection and Immunity has proven itself over the last decades. It connects immunologists, infectious disease physicians, paediatricians, bacteriologists, virologists, chemists and cell biologist to study and fight elements in infectious diseases and immunological disorders. It aims to develop novel treatments and fight resistance against existing drugs. Since Infection and Immunity are intertwined, it is our choice to integrate these two areas of research within a single research school. PhD candidates are trained in both areas of research in order to fully understand and appreciate this fundamental entanglement.

Therefore we have assembled groups that do outstanding research. Not only in basic microbiology and immunology, but also in the field where the two research areas meet. The latter is illustrated by research on immune evasion, vaccination and the balance between inflammation and infection. In order to study the molecular mechanism of this interplay one needs expertise and insight from both the infection perspective and the immunity standpoint.

University Medical Center Utrecht, Research programme ‘Infection and Immunity’

The programme focuses on the following themes:

  1. Antimicrobial resistance
  2. Infection prevention
  3. Immune deficiencies
  4. Acute & chronic inflammation.

Head: Prof. Eric Hack, PhD; Management Team: Prof. Marc Bonten, MD, PhD, Prof. Lieke Sanders, MD, PhD, Prof. Jos van Strijp.

Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Utrecht University, Strategic Infection Biology (SIB)

The programme is designed to discover principles of infection and associated pathobiology at the cellular, organ, host, and population level with the goal to develop novel infection intervention and prevention strategies. The focus is on principles of infection and intervention and prevention are investigated using infectious agents that have zoönotic potential and/or are of major (future) veterinary, public health or economic relevance. The research programme is divided into three coherent research lines that each target key steps in the infection process: 1. Cellular Infection 2. Host Defence 3. Infection Dynamics. Prof J. van Putten, PhD is programme coordinator.

New initiatives on campus will strengthen the I&I programme in the near future. Networking alliances, such as Immunovalley and Utrecht Life Sciences, focus strongly on Infection and Immunity. Future investments like a zoönosis institute, a wild life institute and the move of Danone and the National Institutes of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) to the Utrecht Science Park in the (near) future, will help to create an environment in which Infection and Immunity can flourish.

Associated research groups

All information regarding our researchers and research groups can be found at our website.

Profile of prospective PhD candidates

Prospective PhD candidates have a MSc in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, or a related field of study. They have a basic knowledge of infectious diseases and the immune system and are highly motivated to perform ground-breaking research at the international forefront of one of the above-mentioned research areas.

Mission of the training programme

The multi-disciplinary programme ‘Infection & Immunity’ aims to improve knowledge on inflammatory disease resulting from failing immunity and/or infection.

The programme aims to host the full range of academic research needed to (1) understand the (molecular) epidemiology of infections and antimicrobial resistance, (2) understand the pathophysiology of infections and of failing or overreacting host responses, (3) develop highly innovative strategies to diagnose, treat and prevent infections, immune deficiency and inflammatory diseases, (4) improve health-care through applying (and evaluating) these ‘research products’ in patients and healthy subjects.

Training programme

Programme Organization

Programme Director

Prof. J.A.G. Strijp, PhD

Programme coordinator

E.J.G. van Wilsem, PhD


More information

Visit our website
Mail to